Do you have the heart of a shepherd?
Today you will find out:
- what being a shepherd really means and why it’s so important,
- key characteristics of leaders who shepherd others, and
- how you can have a similar heart and mindset.
You’re going to learn keys to grow and develop leaders who love God and love people. This starts with who YOU are as a leader, because that’s who you’re ultimately going to replicate.
Listen now to become a leader who shepherd’s their team to success and creates the kind of leaders you really want.
Chris LoCurto 0:00
An intimate look at the motivation that drives my business, my leadership as well as my team, and how you can adopt a similar approach in this new year ,that is coming up next.
Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show, where we discuss leadership and life, and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Hey, folks, I hope you're having a fabulous day, wherever you are. We have a gorgeous day where we our, sun is out right now for a little while, which is very nice. On today's episode, we are going to explore what it means to have the heart of a shepherd. Now what I'm going to talk about is three major things, what that means, why it's so important, and how you can have that very hard. Now, we talked about this concept on one of the recent wednesday morning devotions that we have with our team and one of our team members mentioned afterwards, hey, this bleeds into everything that we do here. So should we talk about it? Oh, yes, we should. So that is something that we have decided that we are going to discuss today. So what a shepherd does, now it really does affect everything that we do here. And it should, since our name, Poimen is actually translated into the word Shepherd. So what does that mean exactly? Now for us, the word pointment is a is a Greek word that means a specific type of Shepherd, a kind of shepherd that would love his flock, heal his flock feed his flock leave the 99 for the one that is lost. And that is our corporate name. That is what we do. If you look at our icon, you see two aspects of what we feel is our responsibility. And what we're called to do. One is the shepherd's crook that represents that Poimen that shepherding. And then the other is the arrow which represents that us fighting for others, us helping others to, you know, that can't protect themselves or helping people to get to a place where they can protect themselves. So a great shepherd looks out for the sheep, a great shepherd protects the sheep. Now, for us, that is something that we have done, through helping people to get stronger, through helping people to get boundaries in life to make smarter decisions, better decisions, decisions that bring more blessing in their life, more happiness to their life, more joy to their life, guiding people and helping them to be able to make decisions that put them in a stronger place in life. So we don't actually do the work for the person. Instead, our job is to help them our job is to look out for them, our job is to see the things that are affecting them in a negative way, and God and direct them to great perspective, but then to encourage the flock to do the same to actually do the work and make it happen. A great shepherd lifts up his sheep rescues his sheep heals his sheep, when you look at so if you go to Israel, if you go to the Middle East, and you go to where you see a lot of shepherds, what you will discover is, is that the land is not very flat, there's not a lot of flat land, and wherever there is flat land, they take that land, and they grow things in it as much as they possibly can. So it's funny. One of the aspects of knowing that Jesus was not born in December, is in the Bible talks about how the sheep were in the fields while the sheep are only in the fields in the Middle East in like Israel, twice a year. And that's after the two harvests the rest of the time that sheep aren't allowed in the fields. Instead, they walk on the paths on the side of the hills. And the shepherds are guiding them to go find food in water. So what are those paths called? The paths of righteousness. And where are they leading them to? Well, for those of you who know Psalms and know where David talks about, he causes me to lie down in green pastures. That's actually not the translation. The translation is grassy pastures. There are no green pastures in Israel. There are tufts of grass. And you have to lead your sheep to those places. Well, guess what? Because it's all rocky because it's difficult terrain. Because only twice a year they get to go walk on the flat stuff the rest of the time they're up on these hills and getting over rocks. There is this crook and a shepherd's crook, shepherds staff, where they actually reach down and hook the smaller ones by the neck. I know this sounds cruel, but it's actually give saving their lives and giving them life and lift them up to spots where they're not big enough to climb up to a good shepherd, a great shepherd helps the flock get to a place where there is sustenance, where there is food, where there's water, where there is the the very life giving stuff that's going to take care of them, that's going to help them a great Shepherd leads his sheep, He guides he directs and I'm saying he, he she, Shepherd Shepherd is a great Shepherd leads their sheep, they guide them exactly where they need to go. They guide them in the directions that they need to go they they keep them away from harm, they guide them away from areas that they might get stuck in or more predators might be. One of the things that shepherd in Israel would do is a lot of water is found in the bottom of canyons, they're called wadis back there, but places where they can take their sheep down, but they have to be very cautious to watch and make sure that there isn't a flash flood, because in that land, if it begins to rain, all the water runs into that water, and they have to lead them into places to get sustenance and lead them back out of those very places to take care of them. So a shepherd looks out for the sheep lifts up the sheep, leads the sheep protects them rescues, heals, guides, directs. This is what we do with our team and our clients. It's in our DNA. And this whole shepherding thing doesn't just affect who we are and what we do. But we're seeing it replicated in others how we're seeing our clients after spending time with us, exhibiting the same heart in their businesses in their leadership and their teams, in their families with their spouses with their kids. And it's also the way that they treat their clients. There's a cascading effect that happens, where one positive thing has a ripple effect. The way you treat others eventually affects the way that they treat others and so on, right? This is the way that movements begin. And this happens to be something that is others focused, not focused on you not focused on putting a person on a pedestal not focused on making somebody a rockstar. There's so many people that are focused on themselves on becoming famous or putting themselves on a pedestal or becoming a rock star. When you have the heart of a shepherd, you have a heart that takes care of others. It's not there. There aren't any Rockstar shepherds, right except for Jesus. There aren't any, you know, shepherds that are put on a pedestal. In fact, in the first century, Shepherd Deen was actually looked down upon. It wasn't thought of well, but what do we see from Jesus, that He is the Good Shepherd, he refers to himself multiple times, because of how important the role is now, like Zig Ziglar said, you can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.
If you will help other people get what they can really, in shepherding it's helping other people get what they need, right? What's good for them, what helps them what benefits them. This is a classic Zig quote. And notice how he gracefully shifts the focus from you. To others, being others focused, is really at the heart of a shepherd. Now, before we go into our first break, let me take this opportunity to talk about how others have been taking on this heart of a shepherd that we're talking about, and focusing on others. something truly amazing happened to me this past year that caused me to sit down to pray and I may have even shed some tears over and I want to share it with you and invite you to be part of something very special. An anonymous donor somebody who is a a client and a friend and who's had their life changed by next level life is matching funds for people to go through next level life up to $40,000. Somebody say amen. This is someone who is helping people who cannot afford it. This is not for people who can't afford it. This is for the people who really need to get through this, but can't afford to do it that can't pay their way through. So if you've experienced next level life, you know the impact this event can have. Imagine someone who may not have the funds to go through now being able to, in fact, our donor requested that this is this is the heart of an amazing, amazing human being. All he said was all I request is that at least one single mom be able to go through this scholarship. And as I shared with them, I'm pretty darn sure we're going to have considerably more than one that will make it through that is going to happen. So here's how you can help for us to take advantage of the scholarship match that he has put in place, we need others to come alongside our anonymous donor and give not to us, but to seed into the very thing that we are doing to help other people change their lives. And by doing so, we are going to have a lot of folks come through who could not afford to make this happen. So if you feel led to do so, go to the next level life scholarship page. It's Chris locurto.com/scholarship. Now everything is laid out there. But if you have questions or would prefer to talk through this with somebody, feel free to reach out to Joe fourtner at Joel at Chris LoCurto Calm. As you'll see on the page, we've created an application form that includes an essay for potential scholarship recipients to complete. For those essays, people will be selected and awarded scholarships until the funds are exhausted. So on behalf of our team, and those who will benefit from your generosity, I humbly say thank you, you're choosing to sew into people and give them the hope and support they need to live a better life and change their family tree. So once again, go to Chris locurto.com/scholarship To find out more. Now, when we come back what makes having the heart of a shepherd so important, and how you can incorporate it into your leadership, your business and your team right after this.
Joel Fortner 12:21
Hey, it's Joel Fortner here. I'm the Vice President of leadership development on Chris's team, and I oversee our Next Level Mastermind business coaching program. Most business owners and leaders lack a clear path to succeed in business. They question whether they're making the right decisions, if they're focusing on the right things to really grow their business. If this is you, you need a coach in your life. Coaches help you make better decisions, navigate uncertainty, lead more effectively, and grow your business without sacrificing your life and your family. In their first year, our clients typically see an average of 67% increase in gross revenue, and an average of 138% increase in net profit. And regained hours of time, our clients stay in the program for three and a half years simply because of the results they get. So if you're ready to run your business at the next level and see the growth you've been wanting, then visit chrislocurto.com/mastermind. Again, chrislocurto.com/mastermind, today.
Chris LoCurto 13:22
So like we were talking about before the break, we're not just in the business of growing and developing leaders, it goes way beyond that. We want to see certain kinds of leaders, we want to see servant leaders, we want to see shepherds. And one of those time tested, built to last Jim Collins principles is that you're not always going to be around. Think about it. As a leader, you have to invest yourself in others and reproduce in them the kind of leader that you want them to be, so that they will lead like you want them to when you're not here. That's the key. You must duplicate yourself, if you don't duplicate you and one of the big fears that people have is as well if I if I go teach somebody else to do all the things that I do, then I won't be needed. That is so incredibly wrong. I've been teaching people for decades, leaders for decades how to get stuff off of their plate, so they can rise up and be prepared for the next level. There's never a time a leader gets stuff off of their plate and there's not room for growth, there's not a place for them to grow to right. So we have this bad concept that if I do duplicate myself and someone else, what's going to happen to me, what's going to happen is you're going to be needed at a much higher level. So three things you need to know you've got to find the right people. You're not going to be able to lead and shepherd people who don't want to be shepherded. Let me say if you if you are finding islands I have hired to it islands in my life and by an island, what I mean is that person who was only focused on them only cares about them couldn't care less. But anybody else never makes a good team member, no matter how long you work with them. If you're hiring islands, then I can promise you, you're going to spend an incredible amount of your time trying to lead that person, which will ultimately probably end up in failure. Instead, you need to find people who want growth, who desire growth, who desire to be better, who desire to learn. If you can find those people, then you can do the next thing which is pour into those people.
The more you spend time growing them, you've heard me say it a bajillion times, it's your job as leader to make your team successful, not the other way around, the more you will spend time growing them and making them successful, then by default, you will become successful all Chris? If I do all that, how could I possibly spend all that time with my team members, I don't have that kind of time, well, then you are stuck in the Leadership Crazy Cycle. And you should not be there as a leader. And you've got to get stuff off of your plate, so that you can lead people not do tasks. Leaders should not be bogged down in doing tasks, you have team members to do those tasks, your job is to make those team members great. So you've got to pour into them. If you do not have the time. There's already problem number one, right. So you've got to discover how to kill the leadership Crazy Cycle. Number three is, you've got to replicate the right heart in them. It's not just enough to teach somebody how to do something, it's not just enough to teach them how to do a task, if you're going to be a great Shepherd, then one of the things that you need to do is help them to have the same heart as you now, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. When ever you see a leaders true character, you pretty much nail that to your mind and go, This is who this person is. So if I see somebody who's trying to teach me something, and then I see their actions do not align with that very teaching, guess what? That's not somebody I want to learn from, right? So you also have to understand that the very things you're teaching have to align with your character. Right at their things. If you're wanting somebody to be a great shepherd as well, then you've got to model what that shepherding looks like, you've got to replicate in them the right heart, how do I love people? How do I take care of people? How do I handle difficult situations, difficult conversations? How do I lead people out of gossip and complaining? And you know, whatever the the negative stuff is negative self talk, how do I do these things? How do I? How do I get them away from the things that are keeping them from having a right heart? Those are things that you have to do if you're going to shepherd your people well. So this is incredibly important. Because without this kind of shepherds, heart or mindset, your leadership efforts might ultimately be wasted. And you're not going to see the lasting fruit that you want. If you do not have that heart, then what you're going to get is the very thing that you teach through the heart that you have, I'm sure that makes sense, right? It's viewer if your mindset is, I just want them to do a task, then guess what you're going to get and you're going to experience from that person, a person who does tasks. If you're if your heart is I desire them to be a shepherd like me to have the same qualities and characteristics, but you do not model that you do not teach that, then you can't be surprised when you do not get that. So let's go back to you not being around all the time. It has everything to do with replicating yourself in others, because you're not always going to be here. Sorry about that. But it's true, right? You're not always going to be around. But it's also so that you can expand your impact. The more you duplicate you the more you lead guide direct, he'll replicate you duplicate you in somebody else, the greater impact you can have. Because now you have somebody else who's able to do the same thing or at least aspects of the stuff that you've been able to do. Now you're increasing your your ability to impact. The second thing is you can reach more people. Because now again, this is obvious, right? We now have more people doing the things that you're doing and impacting other folks. So now you can reach more people. And the third thing is You get more done. It is the craziest thing to me when I'm trying to help leaders or business owners to understand. If you duplicate you, your your worth is going to increase to your company because you're going to be needed at a higher level. And then you get to do more stuff. Because you have more people accomplishing the things that you've been doing yourself. This horrible concept of I can't delegate to people, because nobody does it. Like mean, I've always got to take it back Nope, you just not been taught how to delegate properly. When you delegate properly, and you duplicate yourself properly, your business or your team is able to accomplish more. So let me ask you some tough questions, I really want you to, to think about is it possible that you're currently replicating, self centered, self absorbed? or selfish leaders? If so, well, then what does that mean? That's what you're modeling? And is that who you really want leading things when running things when you're not around? Is that who you want dealing with your clients? Right? Somebody who's so self absorbed, and so cell focused, this is really a core concept of scaling anything, you have to look at what you're replicating, and others. And that's going to point to exactly what's going to happen to your business, your team, your whatever your family in the future. If what you see as far as your replication is that it is not something that's going to be healthy, it's not something that's going to be good, it's not something that's going to be quality, well, then that's time to do something about that. We've got to change that. So when we come back, what does it take to incorporate a shepherd's heart into your leadership, your business, and your team? Right up to this?
Joel Fortner 21:57
Hey, leaders, this is Joel Fortner VP of leadership development at Chris Locurtos company. I have some questions for you. Do you as a leader feel like you are caught up in a Crazy Cycle of stress and task that never ends week to week? Do you ever have to deal with tough conversations with team members? And you sit at home the next day the night before, worried about how's it going to go? What am I going to say? What are they going to say? Can I think fast enough on my feet? Is it going to be a total failure? Are you experiencing culture problems or that stuff that just breaks down trust and unity on your team? Well, if you can relate to any of this, this is a pretty typical leadership story and situation. Here's the thing though it doesn't have to be that way. And we can help you solve these things, we can help you become the leader that solves these problems and leads their team to greater success. I want to introduce you to the Key Leaders Program. This is an ongoing leadership development program. That gives you the lesson track, coaching, and accountability. You need to become the leader you can become to actually implement what you're actually learning in this program. Things fall apart without great leadership and intentionality. If you want to solve the problems that are holding you back from being a great leader, we can help you with this program get in touch with [email protected]
Chris LoCurto 23:23
What we're really talking about today, in this this concept of having the shepherd's heart is replicating leaders who love God, who love people they are they're people who have a heart for other people, meaning that they care about other people. They are not just in it for themselves, their selfish gain. I have again, I have hired two of those people. In my what, Geez, 30 years of leading people and I can tell you, those are our regrets. Now. You know what I need to actually take that back. It taught me a lot. It taught me exactly what to you know what to look for what not to hire, what to hire, how to be careful for my team, how to look out for my flock as a shepherd. Because two times I've let in quasi wolves into the to the to the sheep fold, right? People that just affected my team in a horribly terrible, negative ways. And that was a mistake that I have not duplicated in a very, very long time. It's something I learned right? Do not hire selfish people do not hire people that are only in it for their selfish game. Second thing is about getting helping people to care about other people as they're truly embodying and trying to make other people successful. So while that is your role, what happens when you help other people to see that what happens when you what happens when you help somebody to recognize you care about them and making them successful? And that you're not losing anything because of it? That it's not affecting you negatively, right? What does it teach them? It's the same thing we tell parents as they come through next level life. If you take responsibility for the failures that you've had, that your kids have already seen, and you come in and say, I screwed that up, I messed that up. I did that. And I'm taking responsibility. I want to apologize for this. I hope you can forgive me, but I'm going to work on me and change that. Then what happens is your kid doesn't stand back and go, yep, sucka. I hate you, I'm out, peace out, I'm gone. Instead, what they do is they're heartbreaks for their parent, and they realize it's okay to be fallible. The child receives the parent with, you know, for taking responsibility for the mistake and is like, I love you. Absolutely. It draws them closer into the parent. Well, it's Guess what? It's the same thing with team members. If as you're teaching them how to be successful, they see a phenomenal heart that cares about them. What are they going to do? How are they going to respond? They're going to turn around and try and make other people when they feel confident that they're not going to lose their role. You know, if I help somebody be successful, then I'm, you know, I don't have a job. No, no, when they see that you aren't afraid of that, they won't be afraid of that. Also, they're not just trying to get ahead, they're not trying to live a leadership title because it gives them more money, or it gives them power and control, right? When you help them have the heart of a shepherd because you have the heart of the shepherd. Then what happens is is power control, money, position, fame, pedestals, none of that stuff matters. None of that stuff is important. The key is that this all starts with you as the leader, because that's who's going to be replicated in the process. As we grow our team, as we teach our team, as we delegate to our team, it's us that's getting replicated. So leader, take a good look at yourself right now. This is the team that you're creating, when you see if you were to go to the mirror and take a look at your characteristics, your heart, your qualities, the you know the things that you're doing to lead others. That's the team you're creating. That's what you're duplicating. Right? And the more positive you are with your character qualities, your heart all of that, the more that will transfer into your team.
Think about this from a root system perspective. Your leadership today is largely the result of those who trained, developed and poured into you along your leadership growth journey, for good or for bad. Now, there's those of us who have been had bad leaders, and I've had good leaders and great leaders, and have chosen to constantly make ourselves better. But there's a whole lot of folks who have had nothing but crappy leaders. nothing but bad leaders. It's up to you to make the decision to become a great leader. Now, you've probably already had to unlearn some of that bad training that you've had I'm I completely get that the My business is based on helping people do things, right, because of so many things that I've done wrong, or so many things that I've learned from other people, you know, by having watched them do things wrong. So there's probably a lot of stuff you've had to unlearn. That's, that's great. That's good. Let's get that out. But what we need to learn is how do we be this great example. So I want to leave you with a few examples of great shepherds, biblical shepherds who give us a great example of good, healthy and godly leadership in the Bible. Moses. Now Moses was a shepherd of both sheep, and of people. He had to lead a large bunch of unruly folks through the wilderness, but one of his standout qualities was meekness. Is power under control. It was a lack of personal ego. I'm not saying that Moses didn't have struggles. What I'm saying is, is when Moses was in the position to shepherd, millions of people, we see somebody who was very humble. We see somebody who was very meek. We see somebody who also took a stand for the right things, who stood up for the right things who stood up to people for the right things. He also mentored the next great leader of the next generation that led after him, Joshua, and Joshua was one of the most courageous leaders in the biblical narrative. This was a great example of a great shepherd continuously pouring into others to take care of others. And this is one of our greatest Bible heroes. Right? This is one of our, you know, biblical characters that we look up to because he was so amazing and how he followed God and God's will. And we see that God blessed him immensely. Look at a person like the apostle Paul Wow, talk about someone who shunned the idea of pride and vain boasting and instead leaned heavily on God's grace to see him through. Doesn't mean that he didn't ever struggle with those things. It means that he fought against it like crazy. He mentored a young shepherd, a man named Timothy who led one of the great early church communities at Ephesus, and at an incredibly young age, because he could receive instruction. That was him pouring in to Timothy helping him to become that person he needed to be. Now the greatest example, of course, is Jesus, the Great Shepherd and the good shepherd who laid down his life for his flock for his sheep. There's no greater example of selfless service and selfless love, right? They personally mentored Peter, teaching him to play meno to feed, and care for the flock of God, to really love the people that God loves. So what does it mean to have the heart of a shepherd, the first thing is, you have to have a great purpose for being a shepherd. For those of us that are believers, this should not be difficult to understand. As we take a look at the Great Shepherd, The Good Shepherd, we take a look at Yeshua, Jesus. What we see is one who served his father's will.
We often say, oh, Jesus is my, you know, came to save me, no, actually came to follow his father's will, which was to go to the cross, which in turn, saved us. Right? He came to follow his father's will, and what did he tell us to do? Follow our Father's will. So one thing we have to do if we're going to be a great Shepherd is we have to have a purpose that is greater than ourselves, and that's helping other people to become better versions. Right? We have to lack pride and ego. We have to not care about trying to make us great, we have to not care about always being right, we have to not care about people doing things exactly the way that we would do it. Because we're the only ones with the right answer. We have to not care about how it makes us look and and we definitely need to not care about man's opinion of us, right? Unless it's constructive in quality, good. Christ like input, then we need to not lose our worth to the judgment of others, right? We also need to depend on Grace. This is a tough one. A lot of folks will say that they depend on Grace and grace is all I need in you know, grace is what I have, and not really realize how much they're not depending on Grace. It is grace, that we have life it is grace, that we have the opportunity to receive salvation and have an eternity. With God. It is grace, that we do not get every single punishment that we deserve. It's Grace that loves us. It's Grace that heals us. It's Grace that's come after us in pursuit us God is the pursuer of our hearts, not just our souls, but our hearts. We need to depend on grace. We also need to be receptive to instruction now. This is a tough one for a lot of people. And it's something that believe it or not. We've gotten a mixed message over the years in a Western Christian culture. There's a great Hebrew word called HSDPA. And it means to hear and obey. Not just to hear, it's funny when we look at translations of our Bibles, a lot of the time often we see the word listen. Especially in the Old Testament, we see the word listen. And really what it's doing is it's taking out half of that, because the original Hebrew word most of the time in those situations is schema, which doesn't mean listen, it means listen, and obey, listen and do something about it. So we need to if we're going to be a good shepherd, we need to be able to receive instruction. We need to be able to obey the instruction that we've been given if it's good quality, godly Healthy instruction, we need to be able to do so. We also need to be selfless in service and in sacrifice now. We know love as an emotion, as feelings as things that we experience. But when you look at the biblical definition of love, over and over and over again, we see the Bible defining love as selfless sacrifice. If you truly love God, then you must selflessly sacrifice. If you truly love your family, if you truly love your team, people, then to truly love is to selflessly serve and to selflessly sacrifice. Another thing we need to do to be good shepherds is to feed and care for others. You can't just tell somebody what they should do, and then not care about how they are taking care of and how they're fed. No, I am not in any way shape, or form telling you that you need to go out and cower down to the to the victims in Google and make people in title. That's not what I'm saying at all. There are times that we will do everything we can to help somebody, but we are not responsible for get ready for it. Their change. If they don't change, that's not up to us. That responsibility is up to God. The responsibility for us is that we feed them that we care for them. But if ultimately they don't change and move in the right direction, or better direction that's on them. But you can't bug out after one trial.
Right, you've got to actually lean in and try the best that you can. And if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. Guess what you may not be the last step in the process for them. And finally, to be a good shepherd, you have to really, actually love other people. You do have to care, emotionally selflessly sacrificing every aspect of it, if you're going to be a good shepherd, you have to really love others. So these are the things to do to have the heart of a shepherd. It doesn't mean that you have to have a big flock. It can just be one you could shepherd one, start by shepherding you start by shepherding how you live, love, serve. And then take a look at those that you have influence over and start shepherding them as well and teaching them to be shepherds as well. Well, folks, hopefully this has helped you today. As always, we want you to take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life. And join us on the next episode.