Faster Horses

“If I would have asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses’”
Henry Ford

Henry Ford and Faster HorsesWhat a great quote!  And what a great insight into a key leadership trait.  The business community is all about collaboration these days.  And I believe in collaboration.  But, sometimes, a true leader, an innovator like Henry Ford, needs to see far beyond what those around him see.

He didn’t give people what they wanted because they really didn’t know or couldn’t verbalize their need.  Instead, Ford forged ahead and created something that changed the world.  He gave us the first mass produced and affordable automobile.  He gave us mobility and a whole new way of producing goods that had never been employed to that extent before.

And, by the way, it was faster than most horses out there.  Think about that today.


Photo credit: brizzle born and bred / / CC BY-NC

3 Replies to “Faster Horses”

  1. As similar quote that I heard before I saw this one was by author/Christianity Today editor Skye Jethani. He said, “My desire is not merely to give you what you want, but to transform what you want.” As a leader…even as a pastor…I try to live by this because until we see God for who he truly is we are often chasing the wrong thing. We all have things we don’t know, as well as things we don’t know we don’t know. As leaders if we aren’t helping people discover and live into these new areas of knowledge and understanding we’re just giving people “faster horses.” One of the great keys I believe is in helping people move from where they are to where they need to be…and that can mean helping them see/realize the need in ways that are germane to who they are. I heard it said several years ago by a former pastor here in Houston. “We must honor the past to bless the future.” When we do…we are able to do more than give them “faster horses.”

    1. I would love to see you develop that quote a little further. I think it would make an interesting Guest Post on the blog. Will you consider it?

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