All things social creates the phenomena of people following people and content. Popularity is sot and indicated by the number of followers, readers, tweets and retweets as well as a host of other metrics.
One must wonder if people are being herded like sheep following shepherds.
The Role of Shepherds
Shepherding is one of the oldest professions, beginning some 6,000 years ago. Sheep were kept for their milk, meat and wool.
The duty of shepherds was to keep their flock intact and protect it from wolves and other predators. The shepherd was also to supervise the migration of the flock and ensured they made it to market areas in time for shearing, milking or killed for their meat.
In many societies shepherds were an important part of the economy. Unlike farmers, shepherds were often wage earners, being paid to watch the sheep of others. Shepherds also lived apart from society, being largely nomadic. Ever notice that many of the market makers within the social arena are largely separated from traditional business thinking?
Leading the Flock to Where?
A good shepherd leads their flock to greener pasture for nourishment. In business a good leader sees the need of a market and leads “the flock” to fulfill that need better than the market expects. The “flock” represents followers, internally and externally. The nourishment of the flock is relevant to providing value that enhances the performance of the human network, individually and collectively. Performance is enhanced by relevant knowledge supplied and applied towards specific objectives that create value for the human network, internally and externally.
Creating Lots of Value with a Little
History shows that those who create a lot of value with a little to satisfy human needs are “good shepherds” that the many will follow. When the 5000 were hungry and “like sheep without a shepherd,” Jesus had compassion on them, making them to sit in “green pastures,” and feeding them from the five loaves and two fish (Mark 6:34-44). A miracle or principle?
The miracle of feeding 5,000 is created by the principle of being a good shepherd. The twelve disciples had come to Christ and said, “Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in this remote place.” But Jesus said, “You feed them.”
The disciples said “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for this whole crowd?” For there were about 5,000 men there.
Jesus replied, “Tell them to sit down in groups of about fifty each.”
Here’s the detail: The disciples wanted to send away the multitude to fend for themselves, because even the Twelve had not brought provisions. They were thinking of their own stomachs (feeding themselves). They lacked the knowledge and principal of serving the needs of others in faith and don’t worry about the details.
Christ knew what they’re thinking, how they were thinking, with self preservation. He wanted them to think about serving the interest of others first.
“You feed them!” he charges. Then, “Tell them to sit down in groups of about fifty each and share their provisions.” Jesus doesn’t deal directly with the crowd, but through the disciples, the appointed shepherds.
Today’s Social Shepherds
Spamming people with content aimed at tricking people into a transaction isn’t feeding them anything. Sharing content that helps people think by applying new knowledge that creates new perspectives helps them feed themselves and others. Today’s good shepherds know how to create “miracles” by applying the right principle’s with the intent to serve the interest of others that follow.