A month of Dog-Inspired Leadership Tips from Grace — starting now!

Take the Path that is Right for YouThe best leadership lessons are often simple ones. 

When we aspire to be an effective, and perhaps even beloved leader, there are lots of ways we can grow and develop. We can attend intensive classes, participate in specialized training sessions, and immerse ourselves in books and literature to inform us of best practices. All of these methods have their place and I love each of them.

I also love to learn from situations that are staring me right in the face. Or perhaps laying at my feet. Some of the most profound lessons I have learned have come from Grace, my dog. I don’t have to go far to learn, as long as I’m open to the experience.

How we treat our animals (and how they treat us) is always indicative of other relationships we have. Observing how we interact with our four-legged friends will help us see what we might need to address in order to improve as an organizational leader. How patient are we? How open are we to listening to what the other person has to say? How much energy and time do we put towards their well-being, or are they here just to serve our needs? Do they frighten us? Do they provide comfort? Answers to these questions can help us become more aware of ourselves, more alert to what’s important to us and how we react to it. Do we like the way we are with our animals? Or would it serve us to change anything about those experiences?

As I watch and learn from Grace, I bubble over with ideas. She has this bewildering way of getting across her message in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. So I decided to have a little fun and create a series called “Dog-Inspired Leadership Tips from Grace.” Starting today, I’m kicking off a month of tips! The first one appears on the right: “Take the path that is right for you.” On the day this picture was taken, I was so excited with the path I had made. Even though I enjoy snowshoeing, I walked in (rather boring) circles specifically to make it easy for Grace to get through the deep snow. She, however, was not so impressed. Instead of following me, she turned around and walked away from me, which was the equivalent of saying, “Humph. “Not my kinda walk, Mom. Count me out, this isn’t for me.” Rather than be miserable and walk behind me, she let me know how she felt and took action accordingly. It’s an incredibly smart leadership trait: don’t go down a path that someone else wants you to take if it’s not right for you.

Tips-logoI’ll be posting these gems on Facebook and Twitter. They will be short, light, fun, also provocative if you spend some time thinking about them. I hope you find them valuable, and if you, please share the wisdom from Grace with others. If you’d be willing to tell how they help you, Grace would be thrilled to hear from you!

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  1. Lisa on January 30, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Dear Robin and Grace,

    I agree whole heartedly, follow your own path.

    Stay Warm!

    Lisa 🙂

    • Robin on January 30, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks, Lisa. And a Healing Path is even better, isn’t it?! Grace is trying to stay warm, not always easy these last few weeks! Thanks for stopping in. Take care!

  2. Vicki Wilson on January 31, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Robin and Grace, you have a lot of snow in your neck of the woods. We used to make a path for our Wheaten Terrier, Abby. She appreciated it in her older years, but when she was young, she really enjoyed diving into the snow and coming out with snowballs stuck in her hair. I miss her, but not the snow.
    My Lhasa Apso, Tai Tai, definately travels on her own path. She has taught me many lessons in the last few years. I think she and Grace would get along great!
    Looking forward to your series!

    • Robin on February 1, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Vicki, what a funny story about Abby diving in the snow and coming out with it stuck to her. I can picture it without even knowing her! How cute. Grace would only dive in if she thought a squirrel was under it! It is wonderful when our dogs know so clearly what they want, isn’t it? And even better, they act upon it, too, without any hesitation. It does sound like Tai Tai and Grace would get along. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Terry on February 6, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Robin & Grace,
    What a great idea! Being a dog lover and having 2 large dogs of my own, I know they teach me every day about unconditional love but never thought about all they could teach me about myself!
    Looking forward to the insight I will gain from this series! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Robin on February 6, 2015 at 8:58 am

      Hello Terry! Great to see you here and I hope you’ll chime on the things that resonate with you. Would love to hear your perspective! I learn so much from Grace, but others, too! Take good care and thanks again for stopping in.

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