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The Human Herd Awakening Our Natural Leadership

By Beth Anstandig

Finally, a guidebook that unleashes our mammal instincts and shows us how to heighten our self-awareness, experience our lives more deeply, improve our relationships, and step into a more natural—and powerful—way to lead.

What's Inside

We are human animals.

Yet in the modern world, the natural signals of our mammal bodies are suppressed. Our instincts go unanswered as we move through our lives on autopilot, reacting to the latest dilemma instead of listening to the innate wisdom we carry. Without integrating this fundamental part of ourselves, we lack presence, joy, and passion in our daily lives and work, deeply affecting all aspects of our well-being and success.


To reclaim the innate power of our human animal...

we must learn to pay close attention to our inner world and the signals our mammal body sends us. When we wake up this vibrant part of our humanity, we have access to a new source of information which we can utilize to take better care of ourselves, to respond to pressures within and around us, to make sound decisions, and to build more authentic relationships in our lives and work.

This is our Natural Leadership, and it allows us to move through the world with a keen advantage that benefits our entire human herd.

Part guidebook, part manifesto, part wake-up call

The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership offers a framework for living, relating, and leading a more empowered life. Each chapter includes stories that span all aspects of the human experience along with the core concepts of the Natural Leadership model, a set of tools readers can easily utilize, and a variety of practice modes such as exercises and reflective experiences.


Praise for The Human Herd

“A self-help book that taps into the wisdom of animals…to improve readers’ emotional health and leadership skills. A vivid, offbeat, and thought-provoking look at ways of dealing with the stresses of life.” – Kirkus Reviews


“This book will crack open your inner human-animal soul. It’s an intimate look from a brilliant and transparent mind at how we can be our deepest selves.”

Bryan Kramer

Forbes Columnist, Podcast Host Humanly Possible, TED Talker

“If you were a child who stared into animals’ eyes and knew they could speak to you, you were right. This book is for all of us who tried to talk to animals as children, because we knew they had something to teach us.”

Sam Lamott

Podcast Host, How to Human
Karrah Herring

"For anyone looking to lead with more conviction, authenticity, vulnerability, and empathy, this book will get you there. For anyone seeking a true awakening of your fullest leadership potential, turn the page and join Beth on the journey."

Karrah Herring

Chief Equity, Inclusion & Opportunity Officer at State of Indiana

“If you are interested in unearthing the natural leader within yourself, I highly recommend you take a breath, settle in, and read this book.”



Maggie Merritt

Executive Director, Steinberg Institute


“Beth brings her experience as a therapist and as a horsewoman and combines them into a book that will help a lot of people on their journey to discovering their true selves.”

Warwick Schiller

Podcast Host, The Journey On

“This book invites us to change our conversation about the human experience and to return to our fundamental nature as a source of wisdom and health.”

John Boyd

PsyD, CEO of Rogers Behavioral Health's Hospital Division

“In these challenging and disorienting times, Beth Anstandig is the person you want in the arena with you. Her book promises to be valuable for both our personal and professional lives. She’ll help us to be more in touch with the animal within and create the space we need to make sense of things and smart decisions."

Alison van Diggelen

BBC Contributor, Host of Fresh Dialogues
Carol Ann

“Beth Anstandig invites the reader to embrace the sensations of the natural world, to build trust and connection with self and others, and to listen to our innate human signals of physical being."

Carol Ann Gittens

PhD, Dean of Kalmanovitz School of Education, Saint Mary’s College of California 

About Beth

Beth Anstandig is changing the way organizations, leaders, and individuals use their power. As a life-long cowgirl, writer, university faculty member, and licensed psychotherapist, Beth has 25 years of experience developing, implementing, and training people in Natural Leadership—a model she pioneered. Natural leadership helps people awaken their innate awareness so they can live and work with more authentic relationships and connection.

Beth provides leadership, culture, and well-being programs through The Circle Up Experience. Together with an ever-growing menagerie of animals, Beth works with human herds onsite and online. She’s trained thousands of leaders and teams from some of the most renowned corporations, universities, and nonprofits.

Beth’s fresh perspective and work integrating basic animal practices into everyday human life have been featured in global media including BBC World Service, PBS, and Forbes. She is a frequent podcast guest, contributing writer for MomsRising, and an advisor and content creator for Kahilla: A Basecamp for Women on the Rise.

Beth has an MA degree in Clinical Psychology from Santa Clara University and an MFA degree in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. Beth is the author of A Garden of Forking Paths (Pearson Longman, 2006) and  The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership (Morgan James Publishing, 2022). She lives in mid-coast Maine with an expanding community of animal herds.

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