When “The Moscow Cats Theater” came to New York, the Russian clown Yuri Kuklachev was interviewed: “the secret of training them is realizing that you can’t force cats to do anything […] If the cat likes to sit you can’t force her to do anything else […] Each cat likes to do her own trick […] Maruska is the only one who does the handstand. I find the cat and see what they like to do and use that in the show […] I have a cat now that loves to be in the water…”
— REUTERS, 2006
When you go out of your way to hire the best people around than soon enough you will find yourself herding a superior, class A, hyper-developed mutant Ligers* who are much more knowledgeable than the herder (a.k.a. you)
In this environment you have to learn to simply trust your people (although this is not simple at all :), mark the vision, let them loose and only help to get rid of the stones in their way (this concept was best described as the Open Kimono** policy in Peopleware)
Well…. Managing the Delver Engineers is like Herding Legendary Ligers and you need to make a superior effort to see what these ligers “likes to do” and run fast enough to set the Vision and move the rocks out of the way.
* The Liger, is a (huge) hybrid cross between a male lion and a female tiger
** Open Kimono Attitude: You take no steps to defend yourself from the people you have put in positions of trust.
By the way, The best answer I found on the origin of the term “Herding Cats” was in Google Answers