Professional Cat Herder….sounds cute.  I am seeing this little “title” on more and more business cards. Or I hear people tell me that they compare their job to a cat herder.  But what are these people really saying?

When we struggle to get people on the same page with us, they end up doing their own thing, independent of each other.  But in business, that is unacceptable.  So what is the real issue here?  Is it that they are just such independent people that they must go where the wind takes them?  Or is that they haven’t seen any real leadership?  And just who’s fault is that? Theirs?

Trent Lott wrote a book called Herding Cats.  I haven’t read and I can’t say that I am in any big hurry to either.   But in his case it might be appropriate.  He has a bunch of people that run around with their own agendas, each possessing a general unwillingness to compromise unless their lobbyist says its ok.  Alright, I better stop before this turns political.

In my line of work, corporate training, I have seen this first hand several times. Management scratching their heads because people aren’t taking advantage of the resources that are available.   We have all heard the saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.”  We just haven’t done a good job of telling the horse that it is hot and drinking now will prevent thirst in the immediate future.  Its not the horse’s fault for not knowing this, its ours for not sharing this information.

So before we proudly display a badge proclaiming our role as Chief Cat Herder, maybe you might want to take a look in the mirror and see why that is.   You may not want to put that on once you do.