Lessons on Leadership from the Flock

I learned an interesting lesson from my chickens some time ago, from their pecking order. And then I realized something new about them just this week. 🤔

The chicken app the top of the pecking order is concerned about maintaining her position, her dominance over the rest. She has no interest in discovery or exploration, because she’s busy maintaining her power.

The chickens at the bottom of the pecking order have no power to maintain. Therefore they have the time and the energy to discover new things. (Unfortunately, they regularly discover new ways to escape from their chicken yard. But it's always the hens at the bottom of the pecking order who discover this.)

I realized that this works for humans, also. People who are concerned about their position, people who need to keep consolidating or defending their position, are never the people who discover new things.

There is a key for leadership here, I think. Maybe several.

× If I am a leader, then I can either work to keep my position of leadership, or I can work to encourage and environment of exploration, of discovery. I probably can't do both.

× If I am not a leader, I can either work to become a leader, or I can work to defend my current position, whatever it is, or I can discover and explore. Pick one.

× If I am a discoverer, or an explorer, then I probably am not involved in jockeying for a leadership position. I am probably also not as ambitious for promotion as others around me either, if my goals are about discovery. (And my life may actually be more enjoyable, if possibly less “successful.”)

× If I am somebody who stretches to discover new things, new experiences, new ideas, then the people whose goals are about position, about power, probably don't understand me. They probably don’t value what I value, either. I probably should not look to them for encouragement in this area.

I was reflecting on this whole process here, when I realized something else. These principles were more true with my previous flocks of chickens. The current flock, well I raised these girls all by hand, feeding them by hand, cuddling them every day as they grew up. (Did you know that baby chicks are terribly cute and cuddly? 🐥 )

As a (surprising) result, this flock isn’t nearly as focused on position. There’s much less fighting over the pecking order, because they consider ME to be the one on the top of the pecking order.

So unlike previous flocks, these days when I walk into their chicken yard, they gather around me for petting and skritching and snacks and such; they don’t run away.

So there’s no “top of the pecking order” for them to fight over, because they know thats me, it’s my job. They trust that Ill do my job.

And they don’t spend as much of their days either maintaining power or looking for ways to escape their community.

I’m thinking there might be some lessons in this about being secure in our Father’s affection for us. 🤔 What say you?

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