At my old job we had a daily meeting to exchange intel. At the end of that meeting, the head honcho would always end the meeting with the phrase, “keep your head down and run with the herd.”
That phrase never failed to bring a smile or a chuckle from most of those present at the meeting. Looking back though, I often wonder just how many people understood the underlying message. Because there was a message.
In the most polite terms, it was a very clear warning: do something to draw attention to yourself and you risk being culled from the herd. You could even take that warning one step further–do something that makes you stand out, you will make yourself a target of predators. Whether the predators came from outside the herd or from within would only be discovered after you made the mistake of making yourself a target; when it would be too late.
You don’t have to be the slacker, the whiner, or the instigator to be the target. Nor do you have to be the do-gooder, the suck up or the know-it-all. Although being any of the aforementioned will get you notice from the rest of the herd, every herd has these types so you are relatively safe from being preyed upon by the others. In fact, from what I’ve seen, the herd is more comfortable having the aforementioned types in their herd.
So how do you get culled from the herd? By making the herd uncomfortable. You show yourself to be stronger, faster, more agile. More…adept. It is at this point that you have made yourself a target. It is also at this point that you better be prepared to find another herd or, prepare to become lunch. Because once you’ve attracted the spotlight and made your herd uncomfortable? The only question that remains is which predator will pounce on you–one from outside your herd or… one from within?