Written as a heartwarming contemporary parable, this book points you beyond worn-out fads and flavor-of-the-month management techniques to the strategies that will make you a truly outstanding leader.
Principle #1 Follow the condition of your flock
Follow the status of your people as well as the status of your work.
Get to know your flock, one sheep at a time.
Engage your people on a regular basis.
Keep your eyes and ears open, question, and follow through.
Principle #2 Discover the shape of your sheep
Your choice o sheep can make flock management easier or harder.
Start with healthy sheep or you’ll inherit someone else’s problems.
Know the SHAPE of your sheep to make sure they’re in the right fold.
- Strengths: As the leader, you need to make sure each person has the skills needed to get the job done.
- Heart: You must confirm that each person’s heart is in his or her job. Passion leads to purpose.
- Attitude: Given a choice between skill and attitude, the gifted leader always takes attitude. Positivity is contagious and creates a team environment.
- Personality: People are wired differently. Some are introverts while others are extroverts. Place your people in positions that reflect their natural strengths and their unique personalities.
- Experience: Each team member is a product of his or her life experiences. The best leaders learn about each person’s experiences so as to situate this person appropriately on the team.
Principle #3 Help your sheep identify with you
Build trust with your followers by modelling authenticity, integrity and compassion.
Set high standards of performance.
Relentlessly communicate your values and sense of mission.
Define the cause for your people and tell them where they fit in.
Remember that great leadership isn’t just professional. It’s personal.
Principle #4 Make your pasture a safe place
Keep your people well informed.
Infuse every position with importance.
Cull chronic instigators from the flock.
Regularly rotate the sheep to fresh pastures.
Reassure the sheep by staying visible.
Don’t give problems time to fester.
Principle #5 The staff of direction
Know where you’re going, get out in front, and keep your flock on the move.
When directing use persuasion rather than coercion.
Give your people freedom of movement, but make sure they know where the fence line is. Don’t confuse boundaries with bridles.
When your people get in trouble, go and get them out.
Remind your people that failure isn’t fata.
Principle #6 The rod of correction
Protect by standing in the gap and fighting for your sheep.
Correct by approaching discipline as a teaching opportunity.
Inspect by regularly inquiring about your people’s progress.
Principle #7 The heart of the shepherded
Great leadership is a lifestyle, not a technique.
Every day you have to decide who’s going to pay for your leadership, you or your people.
Most of all, have a heart for your sheep.