I love and admire dogs. I don’t miss a chance, whilst walking, running or hiking, to stop and say hello to the dog and if the owner looks friendly enough, have a word or two with the dog and pet the dog.
I don’t own a dog as yet. I have always wanted to own a dog but not owned one because I feel guilty that I’ll not be able to spend time with my dog. So whilst I do want to own a dog, It has not happened yet.
I love all animals but dogs have a special place in my heart. This post is based on my observations of dogs that I have met in various walks of my life.
There is a lot each of us can learn from dogs. What do they teach us?
1. Speak up – leadership is about being there even when the going gets tough. Why shy away from standing for what is right even if you are the odd one standing?
Dogs never fail to bark to protect their owner and their home. They are not afraid to bark no matter where they are. Even when they make their owner angry they continue to bark to highlight something is wrong.
2. Persistent – leaders may adopt different paths to achieve their vision but they don’t give up on achieving their vision.
Dogs are persistent by nature and if you own a dog you will relate to this. Dogs love the food that we humans eat and they try different ways to get the food they desire. Though they may not succeed they try different options and never give up.
3. Empathy– good leaders empathize in the way they communicate, understand and the way they connect. I believe, there is no better creature on this earth than a dog who knows exactly how to empathize with you.Your dog knows when you are down and out, angry, upset, or happy. They are there with you through your emotions understanding perfectly well what you are going through. Their facial expressions and body language conveys it all.
4. Friend – leaders are friends in the way they connect, understand, encourage, communicate, challenge and the way they relate to you.
Dogs are true friends. Dogs show you that to have a friend, be one. They stand by you through thick and thin and never leave your side.
5. Trust– leaders build trust in the way they communicate and behave.
Dogs will always smell to get their comfort level. Once they are comfortable they build trust and lend their heartwarming friendship.
6. Opportunity – leaders see and make use of every opportunity. They give their heart and soul in whatever they do.
Dogs don’t miss opportunities to get what they want, be it food or getting on to a couch. Dogs give their heart and soul as duty dogs, as a guide, looking after children and in everything they are.
7. Attitude – life has many challenges and for leaders it is no different. As a good leader you know that your attitude is your greatest asset.
Choosing the right attitude is something we can learn from dogs. The hope and positivity with which they welcome each moment is something I have always been amazed about dogs. They live each day with unbridled exuberance and joy even in the face of adversity.
8. Uninhibited Courage– Leaders lead with uninhibited courage and by doing so they show their purpose is resolute and deep.
You have heard, read or witnessed many a dog which have saved their owner’s life or a child’s life. Dogs are loyal and they don’t deter in showing their courage or living up to a challenge.
Dogs are adorable, courageous and they make you feel good. They believe in you and make you feel great. A dog truly makes their owner feel that they are the best in the world. They are a living example of unconditional love and kindness.
Isn’t this what qualities of a good leader in life and in organizations should be?
What do you think we can learn from our friends, The Dog?