How to Herd Cats // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

The other day, I was scheduled to lead a planning meeting with a group of wonderful, but independent people.

As I was heading out the door, I said to my wife Cathy, “These folks are my dearest friends, but they are so creative and free thinking that leading this meeting will be like herding cats!”

“Herding Cats?” Cathy replied, “Good luck! Cats don’t herd very well. Have you ever seen a herd of cats?”

“Well, no — and that’s the point.” I said, “Great leaders are like cats. In their own areas, they get a lot accomplished — but put ’em together in one room and they go every which way!”

“I see your dilemma,” Cathy responded, “Cats are just impossible to herd — unless. . .”

“Unless what?” “Unless they’re all chasing the same mouse!”

“Aha!” I rejoiced. “My job isn’t to herd the cats at all! It’s to lead them in mouse chasing!”

So, under this inspiration, I went to the meeting and told them they were a bunch of cats.

When I returned home that afternoon, Cathy looked up from the book she was reading. “Did you herd the cats?” she asked.

“No, but we sure had a wonderful mouse hunt!”

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