Leaders help lost team members

A recent family experience gave me an opportunity to think deeper on this topic.  Let me explain. . .

It began when a dog followed my wife home during one of her weekends runs.  
Our 7-year-old daughter was so excited to keep the dog for our own. The first thing she looked to do was claim ownership and immediately renamed the dog Issy-belle and began to care for the animal. Her imagination ran wild thinking about all the things she and Issy could do together in the future.

At the time, it was evident that Issy was hungry, thirsty, and exhausted.  After several bowls of water and a little food (thanks to our neighbor) our new friend collapsed into a deep sleep on our back-yard patio.


Meeting the immediate need 

Once we had met the physical and emotional needs of Issy the best we could, my wife and I thought about what to do. All three of us agreed that the underlying principle was that no matter what we wanted the best for Issy. 

Returning a lost team member

Our first step was to contact our local animal center to see if they could help.  Fortunately, Issy’s owners had contacted the center already so we quickly found the rightful owners. We found out that Issy’s real name was actually Max and that he had a great family that missed him.
It was a happy reunion to see Max returned to where he belonged.

What Shepherding principles were employed?


1) Entering the world of others (Engage on their terms)

We recognized that Max had a real problem and needed help to be successful.  Feeling empathetic to his plight, we tried to see what would be best for him. Once his immediate needs were met, we began thinking about what he would need longer term.

2) Building a safe place

We wanted him to feel that everything would be okay soon.   We tried to make him understand that we would help him on his journey home.  By making our house a safe place we modeled what it means to care.

3) Leading respectfully

We set in motion the course of events that led to Max’s safe return to his family.   We wish Max a long happy life!

Questions to ponder:

    1. How can we do better in ensuring we have positioned our people for success by ensuring they are on the right team? 
    2. Do we do enough to meet the current needs before asking our teams to perform?
    3. Are we willing to sacrifice to help others not on our team get where they belong

Shepherding: The art of becoming the leader others want to follow

The Shepherd’s Library

Leaders are readers.  When it comes to developing the right mindset, moving from the finite to the infinite might be what you need.   Here are two of my favorites that might help.  I highly recommend either for your library.

Infinite Game

Finite and infinite games


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