At Chilcotin Holidays it’s all about responsibility and being the master of your own destiny. After working only one week at the ranch I am already taking the responsibility for a number of things. For example, the chickens need to be fed and checked every morning and evening, the flowers need to be watered, the horses have to be chased up the mountain or down the mountain, and many more things need to happen at the ranch. Luckily we do it all together. Kevin always says: “At the ranch we throw you in the water, and you might drown, but there’s always a safety jacket within hand reach.”
For interns and staff working here, it’s also about leadership, which is very challenging for me. Sometimes, or rather often, leaders lead with no passion at all, or with way to much. Finding balance between those two extremes is difficult. When living at the Ranch in nature, along with wildlife and in between majestic mountains, I came to a few understandings.
First of all, leadership is not about ruling over another. It’s about knowledge, trust and confidence. Bears, for example, are leaders not because they rule over other animals, because they don’t. They are rulers because they know the surroundings, they can trust on their instinct and be confident about their actions. I also noticed this when I learned about training horses. At the ranch there are three horses that are ‘wild’, or at least that were wild. Before they can do pack trips and ride up to the mountains they need proper training. Along with a few others we did some exercises called ‘the seven games’. It was all about understanding the horses reaction to our commands. Although we were leading the horses to certain movements, we weren’t ruling over them. It was about teamwork between the horse and me, instead of power. Together you can achieve much more than alone, right? So, ruling over another is not the same as leadership.
The second thing I realized is the close relationship between leadership and responsibility. When taking responsibility, you take the lead. And when you lead, you take responsibility. So without me noticing, I’m already taking my first steps towards leadership.
– Elke, Netherlands