I grew up with goats.
I have parents and a sister, and we lived in a house, so it’s not like I grew up as a goat. I just had goats growing up.
While at times we had more, our three main goats were Gertrude and her kids–Salt and Pepper.
Goats are entertaining animals. They eat practically anything. They lock horns when they disagree. They hang out near the edge of the fence, looking for an opportunity to escape and eat some of the greener shrubbery on the other side.
One time, when my parents were away, I received a call from the Sheriff’s office that our goats were out. They had made their way to greener pastures, and I had to corral them back into their place.
While it was annoying to spend my Saturday morning chasing goats, it was also enlightening.
When goats see greener pastures, they go for it. They don’t talk themselves out of going for what they want. They don’t list the reasons why it is safer to stay put. They push the boundaries. They pursue their goal.
So, weirdly, my goats taught me three things about life and leadership.
1. Look for the greener pastures.
During a career transition a couple of years ago, someone asked me, “What do you want?”
I, honestly, couldn’t answer that question. I had settled into a routine and a mindset where I even felt weird asking, “What do I want?”
I am still wrestling with that question, but I have stopped fearing it.
Many fear that question because they have been taught that “wanting” something is inherently wrong. It is not. Most people want something good for others, not just themselves.
2. Push the boundaries.
Our Super Teams event featured Ryan Hawk. His talk focused on pushing the edges of your limitations and leadership.
Goats naturally do that.
Humans can settle for what is comfortable and easy.
The goats get it right.
I am always more content when I push myself beyond my limits.
3. Listen to feedback.
When I tracked down the goats, they did not quickly return to the pen, but they did welcome my input.
They knew that I was looking out for them because they knew that I had fed them and watered them. So, they welcomed my input. (They listened to my dad even more.)
We all need people who are “for us” and give us helpful feedback. This is harder to find than it should be. Many are threatened when we push boundaries, so they will try to manipulate us instead of working with us.
One More Thing
You may find it odd that we are learning leadership from a goat, and I get that.
So, are you ready for an awkward twist that somewhat applies?
Leadercast’s next big event is Leadercast G.H.O.A.T.
No, we aren’t that bad at spelling. G.H.O.A.T. = Greatest Habits Of All Time.
It will premiere in May 2024, and the speakers are being revealed this week. Check it out HERE.