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Ten Thousand Horses

"Ten Thousand Horses" is a story of transformation. Using a fable format, John Stahl-Wert and Ken Jennings tackle the fundamental question of how to move employees from compliance to engagement. Matt James was a top-performing advertising salesman who is promoted to head his division. Directing a division - being responsible for leading other workers toward goals they must achieve together - is an entirely different job from the one he was good at. His workers do not respond to his efforts to lead them, and he is on the brink of being fired for his division's poor results when he reaches out to an old mentor - a former "turn-around" guru - to teach him what he's doing wrong and how to correct it.David Butler has abandoned the corporate world - and the turn-around methods that made him famous - and now lives on a ranch in Colorado where he is working with wild mustang horses and at-risk youth. David agrees to work with his former student, but only on the condition that Matt comes to him - to the ranch. David's unorthodox tutelage introduces Matt to the simple but widely under-attended idea that leaders who succeed in engaging their workers do so because they see their day-to-day work as an opportunity to build an organizational culture of engagement. Every day, in every way, they live the formula I + C3 = E (Integrity) + C3 (Co-Creation, Calibration, Celebration) = E (Engagement). Matt's understanding of these principles and how they function ultimately results in a new-found ability to engage those on his team as well as others in his life."Ten Thousand Horses" reveals the engagement model in a successively expanding manner throughout the book, as Matt is guided into a detailed understanding of its components piece by piece. A final, closing recap of the model offers readers a work-tool and a portal to a full on-line work guide that assists them in implementing the model in their own organizations. Drawing on data derived from Gallup's ground-breaking Q-12 survey on the subject, their years of in-house consulting with hundreds of bus business leaders, and their own professional experience as chief executives and managing partners, the authors provide both fresh insights into worker engagement and a step-by-step action plan for fostering it through the everyday work of managing people and projects. Through this optimistic story of personal and professional transformation, "Ten Thousand Horses" demystifies worker engagement, showing leaders that their actions can and must make all the difference.
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About the Author

John Stahl-Wert, DMin, works with organizations that want to build great leaders who bring out the very best in their people. John provides keynote programs to executives and managers around the world on servant leadership, workforce performance, and leadership growth. A working CEO, John heads the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation where he and his staff em- ploy entrepreneurial and business-minded approaches to social change that have been replicated in over fifty cities around the United States. Along with Ken Jennings, John is coauthor of the international best seller The Serving Leader, published in eight languages. Contact him at Ken Jennings, PhD, focuses on helping leaders become better coaches and lead with purpose. Through Third River Partners, he consults on the development of teams while achieving breakthroughs in critical projects. A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and Purdue University, Ken works with the top management of leading global companies to implement innovative approaches to organizational effectiveness and leadership development. He is coauthor of Changing Health Care and along with John Stahl-Wert is the co-author of the international best seller The Serving Leader, published in eight languages. Contact him at


"Ten Thousand Horses brings us a stirring message of the power of trust, of love, and of hope at a time when building trust is the greatest challenge before us. We are grateful for this new resource on 'how to be a leader' for leaders across the sectors." --Frances Hesselbein, Founder and President, Leader to Leader Institute "Ten Thousand Horses is vitally important for leaders who want to bring out the very best in their people. Stahl-Wert and Jennings have given us another deeply moving story that offers sure-footed guidance for becoming the kind of leader people want to follow. Read this book!" --Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager(R) "This is a book I couldn't put down. A book aimed at the heart, where all good leadership starts. Stahl-Wert and Jennings have integrated leadership, wisdom, the pain of unadopted youngsters, and the power of forgiveness--all courageously suffused in a lovely story." --Max De Pree, Member of Fortune magazine's Hall of Fame and author of the bestselling Leadership Is an Art "I thought I would scan the book out of courtesy, got hooked, and couldn't put it down until I had read the whole thing, made some notes, and memorized portions. It made me really want to take care of issues I am facing in my real life. The [book] is filled with gold. I want to thank God for using you to show how to take action with a plan." --Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier, football legend, actor, author, and minister "In this seminal work, the authors combine kids, horses, and serving leaders to reveal powerful truths that can change lives worldwide. What could be better than Ten Thousand Horses--all charging in the right direction?" --Laurie Beth Jones, author of Jesus CEO; The Path; and The Four Elements of Success

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