Great Leaders Do This

Leaders are leaders for a reason. You and other leaders are willing to take the first step and guide others.

You’re the one people look to in times of trouble. You’re the one to give direction.

sheep on a cliff

Image by Stephen Jones

I recently came across a story from 2005 about sheep in the town of Gevas, Turkey. Here’s what happened:

Shepherds were watching the flock as they grazed on a cliff. Breakfast came and the shepherds decided to take off to eat, leaving the sheep to themselves.

Shortly thereafter, the first sheep took a step over the cliff, falling to it’s death. Then nearly 1,500 of the other sheep followed him over the cliff.

When all was said and done, there were 450 dead sheep at the bottom of the cliff. Thankfully, for the other 1,000 sheep, the bodies of the first sheep cushioned their fall enough to survive.

Sounds crazy but it’s true. You can check out the USA Today article here.

What happened

The shepherds, the leader of the flock, took off and left the sheep to graze with no supervision. With the lack of supervision, the sheep followed one another. Eventually leading to their deaths.

As leaders, we’re required to be on guard and watchful for changes in the environment and in our employees. They’re our responsibility and we must take it seriously.

What needs to be done

Leaders need to be cautious when they leave their area of responsibility.

Assure that there are plans in place to guarantee the safety and productivity of your team. Without you, they may be willing to follow the first person to take action. This may or may not be a good thing. Make sure it is!

What great leaders do

Great leaders protect their team. They know that they’re the ones leading the charge. They know dangers and risks will come. They’re willing to stay and protect the team.

Great leaders ensure their team knows what to do. They’re unwilling to take off for “breakfast” until the team has their orders.

Great leaders equip their team to think on their own. The greatest thing a leader can do is to give their team the power to function on their own. Leaders empower their team to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.

Question: What else do great leaders do? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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