Leadership: The Four Oxen & The Lion – Circle of Safety

The Four Oxen and the Lion An Aesop’s Fable
A Lion used to prowl about a field in which Four Oxen used to dwell. Many a time he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, they fell a-quarrelling among themselves, and each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then the Lion attacked them one by one and soon made an end of all four.

Notice when the oxen made a circle they were “safe.” In a recent book I’ve read entitled Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek advocates for leadership in businesses and organizations to create a “Circle of Safety.”

As leaders, we can’t necessarily control the “dangers” from outside the organization, but we can try to avoid “dangers” inside the organization. Dangers like: an attitude of survival of the “fittest”, selfish ambitions, intimidation, isolation, distrust, paranoia, offense, rejection and unforgiveness.

In summary, our working environment should be a circle of safety where:

  1. People have a strong culture of shared values and beliefs
  2. People have a sense of belonging
  3. People have the power to make decisions
  4. People trust each other
  5. People empathize and care about each other

The Bible would agree with this type of environment especially among Christians.

Hebrews 3:13
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Hebrews 10:24
Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,

Colossians 3:12-15
God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you.Even more than all this, clothe yourself in love. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity.Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking, because you were all called together in one body to have peace. Always be thankful.

1 Comment

  1. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians? ?13?:?4-7?

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