Some time back my son and I participated in a service project to help a young family clean out a back yard. At one time the yard was a wonderful oasis with a swimming pool, lush garden, and beautiful walkways. The once beautiful oasis was neglected over time and became an overgrown jungle of northwest foliage with its prime resident being thorny blackberry bushes. The blackberry bushes were six feet tall and covered most of the yard. What a prickly mess!
When goats clear blackberry bushes their mission is crystal clear to them. They eat until the job is done. They don't take direction on how to do a job nor do they ask permission to do what needs to be done. They're brought to the problem, given boundaries to work within, and then they solve the problem. The goats are empowered to do what they do best.
As leaders we can learn something from goats. When there is a problem, be crystal clear with the team as to what the problem is, ensure they know the parameters of what "done" looks like, then get the heck out of the way and let them solve the problem. Don't micro-manage, insist something is done your way, or frustrate the team with random about-faces. Let them clear the fields and bask in the glow of knowing they did a great job solving a thorny issue.
Keynote Speaker | Board Director | Autism Advocate | Author | Project Management Expert | Microsoft/Accenture Veteran
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