Lessons from the Farm: Save the Drama

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Well, here we are again. April at 3QL means I dig into my past and bring some leadership lessons from the farm. If you’re new, or if you’d just like a refresher, you can see some of the lessons from the farm posts from the past by clicking here, here, here, and here. Now, let’s move forward!

A regular part of raising cattle was “moving” cattle, or a cattle drive. To put it simply, we would try to round up all the cattle in one field and move them collectively to another one. This in itself is an art form to say the least, and one I took a while to fully learn and understand.

On one of my early “drives” my imagination got the best of me. The field we were moving cattle out of had a draw on one side. The draw provided a steep ledge, and cattle could only navigate it in certain spots, which meant it provided a good boundary for one side of the herd.

Except in my mind, I envisioned a stampede of cattle running off the ledge, just like in the cartoons.

As the herd began moving toward the draw, I snapped into action to head them off and save them from the impending death that awaited them. And I was successful. The herd not only turned, they split up. It was no longer one large group moving in the same direction, but now multiple groups going all sorts of ways.

Cue the superhero music.

Except, my heroic actions actually caused more problems than solutions.

Sometimes in leadership, we create problems where they don’t exist and successfully kill any momentum or progress being made. All in the name of being the hero.

The people you lead don’t need a hero. They need someone with a goal.

Be steady today. Understand the goal and help to make sure you move in the right direction.

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