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How frequently in business do we continue to ride dead horses? From ineffective marketing to misaligned operational systems to poor management, all continue to exist even though they are, simply speaking, dead horses.


Years ago I stumbled upon a story about a man riding a dead horse.

After the rider tried numerous solutions, a Native American man passing by surveyed the situation and suggested the only obvious solution was to simply “dismount.”

Business and Dead Horse Riding

How frequently in business do we continue to ride dead horses?

From ineffective marketing to misaligned operational systems to poor management, all continue to exist even though they are, simply speaking, dead horses.

Dead horse riding is a symptom of limited or restrictive thinking. This is where we hear such phrases as:

  • If it ain’t broken, why fix it?
  • If it was good enough for my employees 20 years ago, it is still good today.
  • If they don’t like it here, go somewhere else!

Of course, if we always did what we have always done we will always get the same results.

Thank heavens those thoughts have changed. Otherwise, we would still be bartering in the open-air food mart, living in caves and traveling hundreds of miles on live horses or on foot.

Restrictive Thinking

This restrictive thinking can infect an entire organization from front line workers to C-suite executives on a very personal level.

For example, how many times do we in business continue to think about an event or a personal interaction that did not go well?

Minutes and sometimes hours are spent rethinking what we could have done differently.

During this process in many cases, the emotions kick in with the signs of physical stress now beginning to show.

And what did all that thinking accomplish, outside of raising blood pressure?

For most, all it did was to keep the individual tied to the issue and failed to provide an exit solution.

Maybe now is the time to take inventory of any dead horses you are riding.

Thinking you cannot afford to dismount? I can tell you that you cannot afford to stay seated where you are.

About the author

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Leanne Hoagland-Smith has over 25 years in sales. Her true joy is selling and…

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