Shepherds And Hired Hands

The greatest teacher who ever lived made an observation about the sheep industry. He said that there were two types of people in that business – the shepherds and the hired hands. The way to tell the difference between the two is to watch what happens when the wolf comes. The shepherds will stay and fight the wolf to protect the sheep. The hired hands will run for their lives.

We’re not in the sheep business. So instead of calling them shepherds, let’s call them “leaders.”

And since we don’t have wolves running around, the way to tell who is a leader is to watch what happens in particular situations …

Who honors a request to come in early or stay late under special circumstances?

Who helps co-workers without being asked?

Who cleans up after themselves or cleans up after someone else?

Who makes sure that they are adhering to company policies, and helps others do so as well?

The list goes on and on.

Every organization needs leaders. But not everyone is a leader, nor would we want them to be. To keep day-to-day operations running smoothly, organizations also need doers who fit the culture, take ownership of the company’s values and goals, and make significant contributions in supporting roles.

Shepherds and hired hands. Leaders and doers. Both are important to a business.


The above is used by permission from the book Three Years Of Tuesday Mornings: 156 e-mails about business and life by Steve Fales.


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