Transformation: Lions to Sheep

Paul Hebert Good HR, HR, Paul Hebert

“I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.”

— Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, French diplomat

I saw that quote on my Facebook feed, slipped in between people posting info from the front page of the newspaper to their status updates (I appreciate the updates but I do get the paper and I have internet and TV, thank you very much. I can get “news” by myself—you’re not “scooping” anyone if you post news to Facebook.)

And I thought…

It seems we have plenty of lions in the workforce. At least that is what their blog posts say, their tweets say, their tumblr updates say. They have the answers. They have the guts to make the changes that current “leadership” can’t. We have a ton of very vocal lions out there.

And therefore, I must assume, we have too many sheep in leadership positions. Especially in HR.

If you talk to employees you will find it an almost universal opinion that their leaders don’t take risks. Their leaders are too cautious. Their leaders are too safe.

So—what happened to all the lions?

Didn’t we all start our careers ready to set the world on fire? Did we not enter the workforce hot, ready to make our mark and be remembered for being bold and being different? Were we not all lions at the onset?

At what point do lions become sheep?

What transmutation takes place between hiring and promotion that steals our roar and replaces it with a bleat?

Real leaders stay lions.

Did you change? Did you lose your courage and your roar in between promotions?

Paul Hebert

Paul Hebert is Vice President of Individual Performance Strategy at Creative Group Inc, writer, speaker and consultant. Paul focuses on influencing behaviors and driving business results through employees, channel partners and consumers. He is dedicated to creating true emotional connections often overlooked in our automated, tech-enabled world. Using proven motivational theory, behavioral economics and social psychology he has driven extraordinary company performance for his clients. Paul is widely considered an expert on motivation, incentives, and engagement.