Seven Ancient Principles for Leading People

I am republishing this post from January 2010 because this little book has had a profound impact on many lives.  I am an adjunct professor of management in an MBA program and have made this book a mandatory supplemental text for my management classes.  This little book has had more real impact on lives than anything else I have taught in my classes.

This one is worth getting and reading!!

We have been using a great little book in our leadership training that I highly recommend. It is The Way of the Shepherd, 7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Productive People by Kevin Leman and William Pentak.

Following are the highlights of the book:

1. Know the Condition of Your Flock
a. Follow the status of your people as well as the status of the work.
b. Get to know your flock, one sheep at a time.
c. Engage your people on a regular basis.
d. Keep your eyes and ears open, question, and follow through.

2. Discover the Shape of Your Sheep
a. Your choice of sheep can make flock management easier or harder.
b. Start with healthy sheep, or you’ll inherit someone else’s problems.
c. Know the SHAPE of your sheep to make sure they’re in the right fold.

3. Help Your Sheep Identify with You
a. Build trust with your followers by modeling authenticity, integrity, and compassion.
b. Set high standards of performance.
c. Relentlessly communicate your values and sense of mission.
d. Define the cause for your people and tell them where they fit in.
e. Remember that great leadership isn’t just professional; it’s personal.

4. Make Your Pasture a Safe Place
a. Keep your people well informed.
b. Infuse every position with importance.
c. Cull chronic instigators from the flock.
d. Regularly rotate the sheep to fresh pastures.
e. Reassure the sheep by staying visible.
f. Don’t give problems time to fester.

5. The Staff of Direction
a. Know where you’re going, get out in front, and keep your flock on the move.
b. When directing, use persuasion rather than coercion.
c. Give your people freedom of movement, but make sure they know where the fence line is. Don’t confuse boundaries with bridles!
d. When your people get in trouble, go and get them out.
e. Remind your people that failure isn’t fatal.

6. The Rod of Correction
a. Protect: Stand in the gap and fight for your sheep.
b. Correct: Approach discipline as a teaching opportunity.
c. Inspect: Regularly inquire about your people’s progress.

7. The Heart of the Shepherd
a. Great leadership is a lifestyle, not a technique.
b. Every day you have to decide who’s going to pay for your leadership—you or your people.
c. Most of all, have a heart for your sheep.

Again – a great little book.

My question – Are you shepherding your people or are you just managing them?