The cattle barns at the county fair showcased some beefy specimens — many of them well over 1000 pounds. And although the animals could trample you, they remained in their stalls and were led into the show ring with only a thin rope muzzle.

I think about the elaborate systems that organizations put into place to control their employees but everyone would be better off taking a lesson from the 4-H youth. They repeatedly demonstrate that a small amount of control in the right place is all that you need to achieve the desired behavior.

The steer aren’t allowed to roam freely but neither do they have gates and shackles and heavy-handed measures to keep them in the corrals. Try to reduce your controls to the equivalent of a small rope — enough to provide guidance without oppressive restriction.

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