Living next to the village church is so handy as the graveyard is the perfect place for orphan lambs. Plenty of grass, safe and secure – and of course most convenient for the shepherd!
I’m reminded of their presence since every time a person walks past the sheep think there’s a chance of being fed and as a consequence they bleat. Needless to say 90% of the time they’re disappointed. Nevertheless they are optimistic animals and think if they bleat they will attract food. Just occasionally they are right.
In business and other areas of life we admire and need that dogged determination and yet it can easily be dismissed as “stupid” when the chance of success is less than 10%.
The sheep are consistent with their ‘activity’ – in their case every time they see somebody they bleat. Over time they will refine the bleating to the time of day and how hungry they are feeling. It costs them very little on the energy stakes to bleat and it draws attention to them.
We might tweet instead of bleat. Or post on Facebook, write a blog or send out an email. And we do good old-fashioned post too. It all adds to the noise we create.
It’s a busy world out there and we all filter the information, so much of it remains unread, gets diverted into spam or we simply unsubscribe. People hear some messages but not others. I don’t always react to the sheep bleating but it can be a comfort to know that they are still there and of course I am receptive to their message as and when necessary, the frequency depending on their age or state of health.
If the sheep could get other people to bleat for them or have it on an automatic programme would it be as effective? Firstly as a shepherd I would know whether it was a sheep or not and however realistic it was I would soon recognise the genuine bleat.
Authenticity is key to all our messages to gain trust from our audience. A tailored message delivered at the right time to the right person will elicit the response we desire – food or otherwise!
What’s your bleating strategy?