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When Things Go Sideways On The Range

This month I’m continuing the lessons I learned during my 2017 cow herding experience in Nevada’s Great Basin. Last month I talked about the importance of trust. This month, you’ll read in my article about something that happens from time to time out on the range and how the cowboys handle the “problem.”


You’ll see that things are handled very differently and very swiftly on the range. Unlike in the corporate setting, there are no meetings, no discussions, no emails. There is simply taking responsibility and taking care of the situation immediately.


In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, the second and third dysfunctions are: Fear of Conflict and Lack of Commitment. Fear of conflict is described as follows: The desire to preserve artificial harmony which stifles the occurrence of productive ideological conflict. And, Lack of Commitment cultivates a “lack of clarity or buy-in” preventing team members from making decisions they will stick to. https://www.tablegroup.com/books/dysfunctions


When things go sideways out on the range, there is no one pointing fingers, blaming or looking for an ego boost. There is no fear of conflict with any member of the cow-herding team. There is no lack of commitment. Action is taken. Everyone plays their part. No questions asked.


I understand that things that happen on the range are more black-and-white, with little to no subtlety involved in the outcome. Find out what happened and how it was handled when you read this month’s article in Part Two: The Assignment.