Believe it or not, man’s best friend can give us important lessons on how to run a business.
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My wife and I have three great dogs, Fenway, Lady and Stella. In addition to the fact that these animals have given us much joy over the years, they also have certain properties that every guide should adopt.
In my role as head of Porch.com, a home improvement network, I am always looking for new ways to inspire and motivate my team. Here are five lessons I learned from watching my dogs every day:
1. Our dog always sees the best in people. If you ever meet Lady, you will find that she will smile from the moment you arrive until you leave. No matter who you are, think that you are the best person in the world.
Why is it a good leader? People do more when they are determined to succeed. If they are sure that their strengths are maximized and their weaknesses protected, they can overcome major obstacles. Great leaders seek the best in other people, helping them identify these traits and see how they thrive.
2. Our dog loves to get his paws dirty. If you want to earn all the rewards that life has to offer, you have to get your hands dirty. For Fenway, this means chasing the ball on the beach. It doesn’t matter where you go – the water, the mud or the forest – it never stops.
Why is it a good leader? If you have a big goal on your shoulders, you need to surround yourself with people who are ready to jump and get dirty. It’s not about the ego, it’s about achieving goals. Managers need to find people who are willing to be accountable and who have completed the work they have started.
3. Our puppy never forgets to enjoy simple things. Fenway likes to play with a box that arrives in the mail. Don’t get me wrong, he loves his toys, but this box keeps him going for hours.
Why is it a good leader? A long time ago I wrote about the importance of traveling. The trip is a reward and you should give yourself and your team the chance to enjoy the simple things. Great leaders know that you have to celebrate small victories.
4. Making others happy makes my dog happy. Our dogs always move their tails. They are very happy puppies, but what really excites them is knowing that we are happy. When Stella is playing catch, she is very excited when she brings the object back.
Why is it a good leader? When your employees are happy at work and committed to what they do. I firmly believe that the more appreciation you show, the better people will work.
5. My dogs are very loyal. Our dogs are always by our side – through thick and thin – no matter what happens.
Why is it a good leader? Success is not easy. There will be some difficult obstacles and triumphs. Those who can learn and thrive when the going gets tough will go faster and get into the good times. You have to be with trustworthy people, that is priceless.