Sheep – A Motivational Story About Leadership

A prince inherited a kingdom. And, like all kings, he had everything in abundance.

But suddenly the troubles began. The drought killed many, the diseases even more. And then, an enemy state stormed the kingdom and killed the ones who survived. The king somehow managed to escape.

He went to his childhood friend, who ruled the neighboring state. However, when he finally reached the capital of the kingdom, the guard did not let him in the palace. He didn’t believe him that he was a king because of his rags. So, he had to get a job and earn some money to buy decent clothes before attempting again.

Only afterwards he appeared before his friend. His friend listened to his story carefully and with distress. After thinking a while, he ordered his subjects to give the stateless king a herd of 100 sheep.

The prince scoffed at this “friendly” attitude. He had hoped for much more. He loathed the very idea of becoming a shepherd. But, he had nothing else, and there was no other way out. Once, while he was grazing the sheep, wolves attacked his herd and killed each and every sheep.

He had to go back to his friend and ask for help once again.

This time he was given just 50 sheep. This herd died once again.

The next time he was given only 25 sheep. Afraid that this number will be halved in case he loses the 25 sheep as well, the prince started caring about his herd.

After a while he had a herd of 1000 sheep. Delighted, he went to the palace and informed his friend that, in a year, he believes to be able to have twice as many.

Delighted with this news, his friend embraced him and ordered his subjects to give him a whole state.

Our prince, already disillusioned with friends and friendly relations, asked:

– But, why didn’t you give me a state right away if you had one?

– Well, I was waiting for you to learn how to manage sheep.


The Lesson

  • To manage people, you must learn at least how to manage sheep.
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