Today’s leaders need to be adaptable, flexible and develop new approaches to meet specific team member needs and expectations for support. What can a dog teach us about the leadership role? Toby, my 8 year old Chesapeake Bay retriever has taught me a great deal about business and leadership. His spirited personality has reminded me of the importance of bringing passion into the workplace. When employees are intentional passionate about their work, feel that their work is aligned with their passion, they perform better. Toby’s favorite game is fetch. Watching him play you would notice just how focused he is on the toy. It is essential that we maintain a Toby focus on our corporate goals, the strategic direction and to the way in which we approach our work functions. Focus translates to clarity and productiveness.
Roles of the Leader:
Guide – provide guidance to help employees achieve their desired career goal, and succeed in their current position
Engagement – foster participatory decision making and planning (where appropriate), engagement and collaboration within and across teams
Mentor – model corporate values, beliefs and communication skills for your team, teach new strategies and skills
Champion – be their champion, encourage specific actions and recognize their efforts, commitment and achievements
Coach – help your staff be the best they can be and reach their potential by coaching them through difficult situations, providing valuable and learning based feedback
Leader – connect your staff with the purpose and vision of the company and team, help them explore what is possible and provide a safe stage for them to learn, take reasonable risks and contribute to the companies’ success.
There are many other lessons that Toby has reminded Charmaine about life and business. On Toby’s Terms- a story of life, love and purpose, published by Bettie Youngs Books will be released September 2010.