Oh No, She Didn’t: Political Personalities – The Shepherds

It’s pretty evident that our system (probably ANY political system for that matter) has it’s share of sheep and wolves as discussed in the first two posts in this series. However, what happens when political SHEPHERDS burst onto the scene?


What exactly IS a shepherd? According to dictionary.com it is one who protects and guides. I’d like to also add a term I saw floating around the Internet: keeps the flock together. So, armed with a definition let’s see what we can learn about a political shepherd.


When a shepherd of the field is with his sheep, he protects them. There are many dangers lurking about where sheep hang out. Depending on where a flock is in the world the predators can vary anywhere from coyotes to lions to weather to treacherous terrain.  Political shepherds protect their flocks from similar threats. These perils can be outside or within the flock.

Outside dangers include hostile countries whose aim is to hurt the flock. Although most natural disasters cannot be prevented a shepherd does his best to mitigate the effects of such events. He or she does not exploit the situation for political gain or disparage others, but rather goes to work to help ALL people “weather” the storm. And when it comes to treacherous terrain, a true political shepherd navigates the flock through or around the treacherous surroundings in an effective manner. And never, never, never, does this effective leader create terrain that makes things more difficult for his or her charges. This would be considered an INSIDE threat and is more reflective of a  wolf (or a dumb sheep who somehow finds him or herself in a leadership position they cannot handle.)

A choleric is naturally geared to protect. A melancholy can be fairly effective in this area because of their devotion to doing the right thing, but sanguine and phlegmatic personalities do not usually come by this naturally, but that doesn’t mean they cannot do it when necessary.


A political shepherd provides good and constant guidance for the people. This means that their own lives are self-governed and prudent. They are able to relate to the people, thus understand and guide them better. Of course, many leaders cannot live the exact lifestyle as the citizens due to protective issues, but it is always prudent to research their background and watch how they conduct themselves as they rise to the top.

A true sheep shepherd doesn’t live the high-life and then haphazardly guide the sheep when it’s convenient. No, they occupy the same field as their flock. They often sleep under the stars and eat among their charges. Neither do political shepherds seek out  lifestyles that take them away from their work an inordinate amount of time nor lord their position of power OVER those they lead. They provide solid guidance because they can relate and because they take their duties seriously. Although any healthily balanced personality can achieve this, the phlegmatic has the edge in this area.

Keeps the Flock Together

A good sheep shepherd is happy to keep his flock together. . . and NEEDS to for the benefit of the flock.  The same is reflected in a political shepherd. They understand the importance of keeping the citizens together. Just like a divided flock is in grave danger, so are a divided people. A political shepherd unites! Sure, not all the sheep are going to think alike and neither are the people, but a good leader finds common ground and leads well!

Think about it . . . if there is a small pond of water that won’t accommodate the flock,  it is the sheep shepherd’s duty to allow the sheep to drink efficiently or to look for another source of water. An ineffective shepherd (who actually is NOT a shepherd at all) creates skewed criteria that treats the sheep differently and no one completely eradicates their thirst. A good sheep shepherd devises great solutions to aid, instead of, divide the flock. Likewise, a political shepherd does the same without dividing the people.

Sanguine personalities are creative and good motivators. They tend to be effective in this area. But, again, any personality can succeed as a political shepherd if they are well balanced, understand their role, understand those they lead, and act like a leader.

I think it is worth mentioning that when it comes to analyzing someone politically, be careful when it comes to the shepherd because sometimes a political wolf deceptively dons the mantle of a shepherd. Wolves are cunning so I suggest you familiarize yourself with the roles of political sheep, wolves, and shepherds so YOU can learn to recognize who are the followers, the deceivers, and the true leaders. When it comes to personalities and the political shepherd, ANY personality can shepherd the citizen flock, but before you vote, take a look at the characteristics of each candidate so you can choose the best leaders to protect, guide, and keep the flock together.

©2013 Shona Neff


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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 18th, 2013 at 5:32 pm and is filed under Personalities - Did You Know?, Personalities - Post about all 4, The Personalities - Let's Learn!. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


One Response to “Oh No, She Didn’t: Political Personalities – The Shepherds”

  1. Kelley Says:

    Good post with good analogies. :) Love this part: “And never, never, never, does this effective leader create terrain that makes things more difficult for his or her charges. This would be considered an INSIDE treat and is more reflective of a wolf (or a dumb sheep who somehow finds him or herself in a leadership position they cannot handle.)” Sounds very familiar right now.

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