Leaders Know Who They Are And What They’re About

Posted by on May 10, 2019

While out walking my dog in a rural neighborhood recently, a hybrid, more wolf than dog came out to the street in a very aggressive way. I’ve never been looked at as prey before, and I don’t mind saying, I was terrified.

What happened next made a lasting impact on me.

Lessons on Leadership from an Australian Shepard

The wolf-dog flowed across a yard, effortlessly bounding the ditch and came unrestrained into the street. His tail was straight out and his head down low as he looked at me as if seeing right through me. I was face to face, no more than twelve feet away, with a magnificent animal that I’d only seen before in pictures.

I’m in big trouble. I don’t see this ending well.

As I reached for my pepper spray, my dog slowly turned around to square off with an animal easily twice his size, and let out a deep throaty growl that I’d never heard from him before. His message was universal and to the point: “I don’t want to have a problem with you, but these are my people, and I will protect them.”

I kept walking away, in hopes of making distance before wolf-dog decided to attack. He stalked after us for a while as I walked backward, preparing for the worst.

To my amazement, he allowed us some distance, and eventually went back to his yard.

When I got back to the safety of home, I replayed the incident again and again, and  two things stand out:

  • how I felt, and
  • how my dog acted.

To be clear, an altercation with the wolf-dog would have been lethal for my dog. Of that, there’s no doubt, so how he behaved is enlightening.

In the face of overwhelming danger, here’s some lessons on leadership from my dog:

  • Let them know you’re serious.
  • Stand and face the problem head on. Look it in the eye, so it doesn’t get the jump on you.
  • Be willing to walk away when a fight isn’t required.
  • It’s not bravery that makes you face your fears, it’s knowing your priorities and doing what needs to be done, come what may.
  • When you’re a leader, you take on the tough things that need to be done
  • Don’t let fear immobilize you.
  • The flock will never forget that you stood for them
  • When the danger has passed, get back to the life you love. Don’t let things that happened in the past rob you of the future.

You never know when you’ll come face to face with something that will test you before you have time to plan your response.

Know who you are and what you’re about, and don’t apologize for it.

Posted in: Leadership

Simple Business by Nimbus Themes
Powered by WordPress