Dogs and Leadership: Learning Valuable Lessons from our Pets

Man’s best friend is a funny subject when placing dogs in the leadership category.

I got my dog “Kodiak Jack” in September of 2016 from an ad on Craigslist.com. My girlfriend, at the time, surprised me with a picture of some pups around the time of my birthday. I had no idea what was about to happen that day as I got off work and she showed up to my house and said, “We are going to get this dog tonight.”

It was a crazy experience as we had to go through a high crime area to view the puppies. As I pulled up in my car, two young kids sitting on a car that was posted on blocks yelled out, “what chu need homie.” as he pulled something from his shirt. I drove off casually in the dark of the night looking for the right address.

The night was dark, as I found the right address and approached the correct house. Dogs barked loudly as a woman came out. She asked us which one we wanted and I replied with, “can I see them?” There were only a few pups left and we picked the one we wanted. $350 cash for him.

Kodiak was only 5 weeks old when he was given away from his family, too young for any puppies to leave their mothers.

Over the past two years, Kodiak has taught me so much about Leadership.

Dogs… and Leadership? But how can these two be relevant?

5 Lessons

1. Loyalty

2. Training

3. Patience

4. Love

5. Discipline

These five important factors are critical to leadership and followership. When it comes to dogs, there can be leaders. When it is just Kodiak and I, I am the leader. The five listed above are what Kodiak taught me about leadership.

When it comes to loyalty, it is built around motivation and inspiration in the human world. Without motivation, how can you get followers to follow you? Training is important for anything. Without training how can your followers know where to go? As with training, patience ties it all together. Not everyone will understand your teaching techniques right away. A leader must be patient. Love, is key to all. Love what you are you doing, how you are doing, and who you are doing it with. Discipline, Jocko Wilink says that discipline equals freedom. With dogs, an owner must be disciplined with their training, patience, and love. This goes the same way with humans.

Learn to learn things that are not in the workplace. There are so many leadership lessons that happen outside of work. You simply need to be aware of it.

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