The Cowboy Way

Personal Accountability & Team Work

When you think of cowboys, does your mind go to the lonesome rider out on the range or maybe the six gun carrying shoot out kind of guy? When in truth they were mostly just normal folks doing a job nobody else wanted to do.

Let me tell you about a cattle drive. Well first there is the gathering of all the cattle in one place. That means going out and finding all the pairs and singles in the brush, woods, swamps, and the like.

Then comes the branding. Too bad we are not outside, I sure would like for you to be able to smell the air and listen to the noise when that is going on. You see you have to rope a calf’s hind feet and that’s the easy part. Then jump down from your horse and gather the front two feet and tie the four feet together. All the time you were doing that your partner was tending the fire, heating the branding iron and getting the dobbin’ brush and knife ready. If the calf was a heifer, well she just gets branded. If the calf was a young bull, well he was a steer when he got up. When the red hot branding iron is placed on the hide of the calf the aroma is so strong it ruins your nose for quite a time and the bawling from the calf is pretty loud.

While the branding is going on the chuck wagon was being stocked and the cook is getting ready to roll. You see the chuck wagon had to be at the end of the day location before the end of the day to make sure supper was ready when the cowboys came in for the night.

Cattle drives start early in the morning. The chuck wagon would be on its way, with the herd of horses following. The team holding all that together was headed by the trail boss, the lead cowboy. The outriders, the cowboys that rode ahead, on the sides and brought up the rear, the new cowboys that rode herd and ate dust, the teamsters that drove the wagons of supplies, and the wranglers, cowboys that took care of the horses and broke the green ones while on the trail.

The cook’s responsibility was to make the food, tend to the sick and injured, and generally be the glue that stuck the whole group together.

Every person on the trail had a job and everyone depended on them to do the job assigned. You see, if you job is night owl your job is to sing softly and lull the cattle into a quiet time. Thunder and loud noise will create quite a commotion. If your job was to gather fire chips, you needed to get to the camp location before cookie and gather and stack chips. No chips meant no, fire which meant cold dinner. Which meant the whole camp was not happy with you. The job list just goes on and on.

TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More!

To be a good TEAM member, ask yourself this:

          Who can I be a service to?

What do I need to learn to do better?

          When should I reach out for help?

Where do I need to improve?

How can I help the team go and grow?

Are YOU Ready to Learn More?

The Leadership Wrangler  D.W.(Dick)Powell     727-422-1833