Part of the Pack or Part of the Herd?

Which approach best fits your style of running your small business? Are you more part of the (wolf) pack or do you align with being part of the (sheep) herd? Other than the obvious, what really is the difference? From a business standpoint, plenty. And your business results are predicated on your choice.

A pack mentality has a distinct hierarchy where every wolf in the pack has a place in order behind the strongest leader. When the leader of the pack decides it is time to attack the prey of choice, each wolf has a role in bringing down the chosen target and they operate as a team functioning with a singular goal. They are swift, efficient and have a common end in mind.

A herd mentality is led by the will of the majority. There is no strong leader and roles for the members. Each member acts on the actions of their neighbors. There is no focused effort. A herd is frequently looking for individual survival and is driven by its own impulses.

Which of these animals are more likely to be the predator and which are more likely to be the prey? The same could be said for your business.

A “Pack” business has a strategic focus where employees are fully aware of the company goals and the roles they play in bringing those goals to fruition. They have a solid leader for others in the pack to follow and take their cues from. Like an animal pack, the business pack has a predatory focus – taking down the competition, feeding the pack (bringing in new business) and refining their techniques to improve their effectiveness.

A “Herd” business is typically led by a soft leader who doesn’t offer much in the way of direction of the business other than trying to keep the doors open and secure a small bit of profit based on the swings of the economy. The rest of the herd has little respect for the edicts of the leader and frequently do as they wish, regardless of how it impacts the herd.

A “Pack” business has better sustainability in difficult times and can engage in total effort to benefit the entire pack. A “Pack” business also easily recruits the best talent available because top talent understands having specific goals and results they are trying to achieve.