Treated Like a Dog
We owned a miniature dachshund that joyfully welcomed us home every day. We miss the sound of his miniature paws following us.
One day I arrived home to a “normal” welcome-home from my wife and realized that we acted more excited to see Spunkie than we did each other. In that moment, I said, “I wish I was a dog.”
Act like a dog-leader:
- Jump up and down and run in circles, when people come to work. “I’m so excited to see you.”
- Lick people in the face for no reason.
- Forgive offenses.
- Sit nearby and cast occasional glances. What’s next? Do you need anything?
Treat people as good as your dog treats you.
5 dog qualities for leaders:
- Enjoyment. We already know everything isn’t perfect. Decide to enjoy yourself at work.
- Predictability. Adopt rituals and rhythms. Predictability feels like stability. Walk around at the end of every day saying thank you, for example.
- Loyalty. Stand up for your team, even if it hurts.
- Simplicity. Be clear and direct.
- Protectiveness. Make sure nothing prevents people from maximizing their talent.
Treat people like dogs:
- Accept their nature. Don’t expect poodles to act like shepherds.
- Give clear directions. Come. Sit.
- Offer praise quickly, joyfully, and profusely. Imagine praising a dog two hours after they fetched the paper.
- Scratch ears and rub bellies. Make people feel good.
- Let them run around once in awhile.
Which dog quality is most applicable to you?
Thanks to the person who sent this video: https://player.vimeo.com/video/122375452. You reminded me of a post I wrote on Nov. 2, 2010. Today’s post is a loose version of that one.
Love it! I don’t think I want to lick anybody’s face though. 🙂
Thanks Ashley. It’s a little tongue-in-cheek. 🙂
Don’t you mean tongue-ON-cheek? 🙂 🙂 Sorry, couldn’t help myself!
Ha! Great start to a Friday. I rarely read the comments. Glad I did this time.
This is a great post on encouraging, accepting and valuing diversity on your team!
Thanks Kathy. It seems like encouragement is a good thing.
love this post, thank you for the smile and wisdom within
Thanks Scott. Having a little fun on Friday. Glad you enjoyed.
My tail was wagging the whole time I was reading this post!
I’m laughing out loud!
I would add “Love unconditionally.”
Thanks Kat. Wonderful add.
We’re on similar wavelength! My dog, Oliver went on the “Doggie-heaven” a year ago. I wrote ten things I had learned from him! Here are three..
Don’t waste your bark. Oliver had a rich deep, intimidating, German-Shepherd bark, but he never used it without cause – if Oliver barked there was a reason.
Don’t dwell on the past — learn and move on. Oliver was a rescue dog, his first two years of life were different than his last eight.. He moved on.
. Retain your humor – I’ll never forget the first time Oliver saw me use a bag to collect his “droppings” (a law in the City of Manchester) I swear I heard him say “really.. are you serious?”
Thanks Ken. Glad you shared lessons from Oliver. “Don’t waste your bark,” speaks to me. It suggests that somethings just aren’t as important as others. Choose your bark-time carefully.
Who said that Dogs are smarter than humans, had a good perception, of the simple things most time make the most sense. I too relate to “Don’t waste your bark” Similar to “choose your battles”
Good morning Dan;
Wouildn’t it be great, if Leader and Follower alike adopted the positive nature of ‘Man’s Best Freind’.
Problems would no longer seem so daunting. An atmoshere of solid team unity would begin to permeate
throughout your organizations, as volunteerism will most certainly increase.
Time is short today my freind. Before I go let me leave you with this suggestion. To test the level of
love & affection you receive from wife and dog, place both in the trunk of your car and go for a ride. When you
return home, open the trunk and see who’s most happy to see you. “Hope your a good cook Dan!!!”
Cheers Dan, hava great weekend!
Thanks SGT. The way we treat each other, while we fulfill our mission, is the most important thing about us. Leadership gurus call this “culture.”
Your insight that problems would no longer seem so daunting is powerful.
Thank you for the fun Friday post! Dogs offer unconditional love and they are unconditionally positive going into situations – it’s all based on trust.
Happy weekending . . . 🙂
Thanks Dianna. Happy weekend to you, too. Glad you stopped in.
Oh, how true! It’s so easy to treat our dogs better than those around us, because dogs don’t expect us to go beyond normal care. Love the reminder to “Respect their nature.” Am I expecting a shepard to act like a golden? -good Friday food for thought!
Thanks Eileen. You are so right. We treat our pets better than people. It’s not that we should treat pets poorly. It’s that we might want to up our game when it comes to people.
What a title for an article on leadership development, Dan. But perfectly apt and insightful. Love what you wrote!
Thank you Albert! Cheers
Here is the greatest compliment I can give… SHARED! 🙂
Beautiful! Thank you Pastor.
I like quality number 4. It has in depth meaning. When you sit with someone, it shows your presence. Casting occasional glance shows you are really concern about the person. It helps to understand the person mood. Accordingly you can communicate and treat. It has great relevance with the way we treat others at workplace. Suppose your supervisor comes and sit nearby and before saying anything looks at you politely. What can you think? If this is natural behavior of the person, you can understand his feelings.It has meaning beyond work related issues. It connect with people. It shows that you are important than anything else. It talks about nurturing relationship. And this is real leadership.
Thanks Dr. Gupta. I was thinking about the idea of being near but not hovering. Thank you for expanding this idea in useful ways.
It’s unfortunate that when the boss shows up, people wonder what he/she wants FROM them.
I’ve always kept a bowl of small candies in a crystal bowl on my desk; one, because I love chocolate (it’s my only vice left in life!) and two, it’s a great ice breaker when someone comes in, sits down, grabs a piece of chocolate and starts talking with me. Maybe its time to switch to doggie biscuits from miniature chocolates!! Thanks for your great insight – as always!!
Thanks Bill. Maybe chocolates are people biscuits. 🙂
I love the video – made me cry. My dog is getting old – not sure how I’ll handle it. I think we don’t treat people like we treat our dogs because they don’t love us unconditionally.
Thanks Terry. Yes, the video is amazing. It would have to be great for me to watch the whole thing.
The video should have come with a “WARNING – GATOR TEAR JERKER, not for the faint of heart.”
Note: Just lost a four legged family member. Amazing how they become part of the family unit without uttering a word.
Thanks Dianna. I agree on both points. We miss our little guy.
Great post and amazing video. Never thought of it like that before. Thanks. Have an amazing evening.
Thanks Ian. Glad you enjoyed.
Love it Dan! Btw my dog’s name was Spunkie too!
Thanks Sarah. Small world.
I’ve thought from time to time about a dog’s life; but then we read the papers about the horrible things done to dogs…
I’d add a suggestion in dealing with people that also fits with dogs: Remember that no person as no dog is mistake-proof. Don’t work toward perfection but rather toward learning from mistakes!!!
Thanks John. Glad you added the idea of learning from mistakes. I spend too many years worrying about perfect solutions…in the end it’s stagnation.
Hehe, this post is quite brilliant (and funny). But it is well said and done
Thanks Ruth. It’s fun to have some fun.
Your heartwarming and touching blog about your dog – and Dog-Leaders – reached me late. Still… All of my contractor bosses – including my own father – always greeted and treated each worker with enthusiasm, respect, and interest. Each client, too. That lesson has helped me to do the same. By the way, every dog (German Shepherds) that graced my life, as a child, TAUGHT ME about life. And how to treat others well.
I’m preparing to give a presentation titled “Leadership Challenges in the K9 Unit” and what a great way to relate to the topic with some of these insights and comments. Perfect timing! Thanks!
Love, love, love this … and will quote you … a lot! Thanks for throwing us this leadership bone!
PS – These points are even great for using with family members!