Management Lessons I Learned from My Dog

management lessons I learned from my dog. Our professional careers often span decades. During that time, we try everything under the sun to stay on top of our chosen paths, so that we might improve ourselves, provide for a more rewarding lifestyle, or simply keep our heads above water.

Our professional careers often span decades. During that time, we try everything under the sun to stay on top of our chosen paths, so that we might improve ourselves, provide for a more rewarding lifestyle, or simply keep our heads above water.

Throughout my career, I learned management skills by considering my experiences and those of others with whom I have worked. I read about what good managers do and I listen to how great leaders speak to everyone in their spheres of influence. Observation and mimicry have been my allies. I’ve tried to draw on everything, everywhere to become a better manager.

Recently, I came to the startling realization that a member of my own household, years younger than myself, has taught me about management for the last four years: My dog, Kyleigh.

Before you cancel your agreement with MBMI because I’ve lost it, I ask you to consider the possibility that I am not alone in my capacity to learn from a big red dog whose mother was more than a tad indiscriminate about the heritage of her gentleman callers.

I have come to admire the ways in which my dog interacts with the family. Like a middle manager, she both manages and requires management. That is why I now present “The Management Lessons I Have Learned from My Dog:”

Make as much noise as you can to get noticed
Generally Kyleigh is a sweet, quiet dog, but when she wants attention, whether to play or to trumpet an intruder’s arrival, she makes noise. Kyleigh barks, whimpers, growls and barks some more. Getting noticed insures that Kyleigh creates for herself the best possible chance that her needs and deeds get noticed. We should all shout the successes of our teams.
Show others gratitude for what they do
My dog’s expectation of me is realistic: basic items like food, water, shelter and reasonable exercise. When I over-deliver her expectations, like a romp in the dog park, she shows her gratitude with wags, licks and excitement. Managers should reward employees who go above and beyond.
My dog needs boundaries
Set the rules and don’t deviate. If your employees question your commitment to the rules, they will test you and break them. The result is chaos and, often, reduced output.
Offer clear directions
My dog listens to me. Her vocabulary is limited, so I have to be very careful about the words that I use if I want her to successfully carry out my orders. Sound familiar?
Make time for your employees
Kyleigh can go a long time without a lot of attention, but she is a living creature and requires a certain amount of care. Provide your employees and environment that encourages growth, learning, participation and a feeling of importance.
My dog and I accept each other’s quirks
Accept employees for what they are personally. In turn, they will accept you for who you are. This mutual acceptance leads to respect for each other as individuals, first.
Meet in the middle
On Saturdays, I like to sleep in. Kyleigh prefers to go outside and play when the sun comes up. We have compromised. On sleep-in mornings, if I don’t set an alarm, she doesn’t put her cold nose on my back until nature calls. We respect each other’s needs. That leads to compromise and greater output.
Public praise engenders hard work
When my dog does something well, I am quick to praise her. It reinforces her behavior and supports repeat performance.
My dog is loyal
I like that about her. I want my employees to know that I will be loyal to them, as long as they are loyal to me.
Correcting behavior is part of being a good master
Like children, dogs require an alpha, master, trainer or other authority figure, who monitor behavior and correct it when necessary. So do your employees. Allowing bad behavior only infects your organization and compromises your results.
Eventually, my dog will not be a part of my household
As sad as it is, I will probably outlive Kyleigh, but I must recognize that she will be gone and I will need to decide whether or not to replace her. While no dog will ever be exactly the same as Kyleigh, I know that I need a plan and criteria by which I can make a decision about the future of my family. You need a succession plan, too.

I am sure that you have learned management lessons from your pets, too, and I urge you to comment or send along those learned lessons. We’d love to share them with the world.

Thanks, Kyleigh. You’ve earned a treat.

kyleigh-the-dog

Post by

Bill Pasha
President/CEO

Bill Pasha is President/CEO of The MBMI Companies, LLC., the parent firm of MultiBrand Media International, Maximized Brand Marketing International and Valoriant Safety. Before joining the entrepreneurial world, Bill was recognized as one of the top Program Directors in America and as an authority on consumer consumption of media. He continues to consult broadcasters around the world.

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