5 Turkeys Huddled Together

5 Turkeys Huddled Together

“Turkeys travel in packs.  You have to find eagles one at a time.” – John Maxwell

Earlier today I was driving to the office and noticed five turkeys along the road huddled together.   I pulled over and took the above picture to illustrate a leadership truth.  It is difficult to attract and retain leaders.  John is right when he says you find them one at a time.  On the other hand, it is easy to find turkeys.  They are everywhere.

As a leader, you are either an eagle magnet or a turkey magnet.  Let me explain.

If you are having difficulty attracting or retaining leaders, the problem may be found in one or more of the following seven reasons:

  • Lack Of Vision – Leaders are attracted to vision.  More specifically, they are attracted to BIG vision.  For a leader to leave where they are and follow you, you must point them to a brighter tomorrow.
  • Lack Of Accomplishment – Leaders, by definition, are going somewhere and doing something.  They will not be reduced to a level of mediocrity by environments of maintenance.
  • Lack Of Generosity – Yes, financial compensation is very important.  Leaders have options so don’t be cheap.  However, organizational generosity is important as well.  Are you serving the poor?  Are you involved in your community?  Do you treat those on your team generously?  Does your church or organization have a culture of generosity?
  • Lack Of Effort – Leaders are in high demand.  You must make the effort to go and get them.  They are not just going to show up at your door.  More importantly, you must work even harder to keep them.
  • Lack Of Gratefulness – Excellence can seem average when it is all you have.  Do not take your leaders and high performers for granted.  Someone else is always telling them they look pretty.
  • Lack Of Trust – Leaders will not follow those who have a history of broken promises.
  • Lack Of Opportunity – Leaders want to lead.  They want to leave their mark, create, risk, mobilize people and resources, and take the organization to a higher level.  What is interesting is that opportunity finds leaders.  Make sure you have opportunities for the leaders within your church or organization.
  • Lack Of Relationships – Leaders want to accomplish great things in the context of community.  Leaders want to advance mission and vision with people they like.
  • Lack Of Proven History – Leaders are pioneers and risk-takers, but they also like predictable environments.  Team president Pat Riley being a proven winner was a primary reason why LeBron James went to the Miami Heat.  If a leader lacks the confidence you can take them, the church, or the organization to the next level, they will seek greener pastures elsewhere.  Think of it this way – on a scale of 1 to 10, a 9 leader will only work for a 6 leader or organization for so long.
  • Lack Of Emotional Health – Leaders with options will not thrust themselves into dysfunctional environments.

So, are you an eagle magnet or a turkey magnet?  If you are surrounded by turkeys, do you have the courage to make the necessary changes needed to begin attracting eagles?


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