Sheep Or Shepherd?
My mother considered me to be a sheep – “follower” were her words. You could say I was. Being a sheep isn’t necessarily bad. How else can you learn to be a shepherd – leader? The trick is to find the right shepherd to follow. More than likely, you will not pick the best shepherd all of the time, but as I stated in a previous blog, nothing is perfect. Mistakes are part of human development. Most successful people followed someone, then instinctively new when the time was right to try and be the leader.
Being The Sheep Is Step One
We all come into this world not knowing a thing; exploring the world around us as we develop. Parents along with others are constantly teaching us right from wrong or should I say “their” right and wrong. As we grow and mature, we start to discern for ourselves, what right and wrong is. Sometimes we know things are wrong, but because our friends have input and our desire to fit in and be accepted is stronger, than our unwanted consequences, we go for it. The shepherd didn’t keep his/her sheep safe.
Sometimes shepherds lead and inspire us to be better. They guide you and help you stay on track, while letting you make some decisions on your own. Not all shepherds have your best interest at heart. You must learn to discern for yourself who to follow. Even so, you might not agree with everything your leader tells you. Take what is good and discard what is bad.
Being The Shepherd Is Step Two
Once you’ve grown from being a sheep, it’s time to go on your own and be the shepherd. What does this mean? It means you’ve defined your stance on things. You’ve become the leader. Being a leader doesn’t mean you go around bossing people. It means you can trust yourself to do whatever it is you want. You don’t need other’s approval to define you.
These qualities make for great entrepreneurs, trend setters, managers, bosses, etc. A great leader knows when it’s time to be the follower. Step two isn’t where it ends.
Switching Back and Forth From Sheep to Shepherd
In order to be a good leader, one most follow an expert in the area of which they are trying to lead. Therefor, the shepherd becomes the sheep. Good leaders don’t let their egos get in the way of learning something new. It was suggested to me that I write a book about my life growing up. My story was interesting enough, but I had no idea how to make it come to life. Not too mention, my writing skills needed some improvement.
The search was on to seek out people in the book industry. Being afraid of showing others my ignorance in a subject, isn’t something I engage in. Just because I didn’t know anything about the industry, doesn’t make me some sort of idiot. Luckily, I found the right shepherds to follow.
The fact that I wasn’t afraid to go for something and start it, made me the shepherd. I became the sheep when I didn’t have the knowledge to move forward in an industry in which I had no clue. What I do have a clue in, is marketing and putting myself out there. I can be the shepherd to others.
Exceptional shepherds vacillate between being the teacher and the student. Great leaders aren’t too proud, and love helping others to do well in life. Some leaders like to put themselves on their own pedestal which will ultimately lead them to their downfall. If you run into someone that wants to keep you in a forever student position, I’d stay far away.
Curiosity is the number one step in almost everything that has to do with success. What areas are you curious? Do you want to be a trend setter or someone that only wants to follow the herd? I prefer to do whichever makes me happy. Sometimes I’m the sheep and sometimes I’m the shepherd.
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch