Dog-Gone Leadership - Bringing Out The Best In You and Your People

Ready to experience a new approach to leadership development – with a canine twist?

Dogs have so much to teach us. When we work to bring out the best in them, they bring out the best in us.

The Dog-Gone Leadership program connects our innate bond with dogs with our natural ability to learn by leading. This unique approach to leadership development uses our love for dogs as a motivator for leadership transformation.

No, that doesn’t mean that you treat your employees like dogs and say, “That ‘a boy.” The opposite! This approach harnesses the wisdom of dogs and the human-dog relationship to unleash the leader in you.

Here’s what we know about dogs:

  • Shake off stress quickly
  • Respond to positive reinforcement
  • Read the energy of a room naturally
  • Stay focused when they are at work
  • Reflect our leadership in their behavior

Unleash the leadership in your organization with the Dog-Gone Leadership program

You don’t have to be a boss to be a better leader.

Dog-Gone Leadership combines our experiences with both leadership and dogs to create a better life and work experience for the people around us and a better life experience for ourselves. Through this transformative, yet simple program, I coach leaders and teams through sessions that challenge how leaders and teams interact, to create more balance, and to help you be a better boss, while getting your team to work together more effectively and happily. Plus, it’s fun! If you love dogs, have a dog-friendly workplace, or appreciate the bond we have with our shaggy canine friends, this is the program for you.

Dog-Gone Leadership teaches high performers to:

  • Shake their stress off quickly and return to an emotional state that serves the situation best
  • Know how to motivate their team and keep them engaged
  • Read the energy in the room and adjust their style/approach accordingly
  • Stay focused and tune out distractions
  • Take nothing personally and let go of any grudges and conflicts swiftly
  • Leverage their leadership strengths and bring out the best in others

How It Works

I’m both a leadership coach and a dog trainer and I’ve figured out a way to stimulate better performance in companies by engaging leaders in dog training conversations. The skills you need to train a dog are often similar to the skills you need to lead in the workplace. But, just like people struggle to understand and manage the behavior of their dogs, they often struggle with the performance and behavior of their teams. Both situations can point to the necessity of fine-tuning the leader-follower relationship.

The concepts of Dog-Gone Leadership apply to everyday challenges in companies, including:

  • finger-pointing, blaming, and lack of responsibility
  • misunderstandings in teams that lead to emotional breakdowns
  • team members being disengaged, withdrawn, and not aligned
  • stress overriding performance
  • being complacent with mediocre performance

My Leadership Journey with Dogs

I didn’t get my first dog, a German shepherd until I was 31 years old. I wanted a dog as my hiking partner. I still remember, the day before he arrived, I got nervous. I called my friend Nancy and said, “Nancy, I am really getting cold feet. What if Cito takes my freedom away and then I’m stuck with him? Come on, I’ve heard these stories, that it is more difficult to travel or even move when you have a dog and they constantly need attention.”

And Nancy in her wisdom turned the question around and said, “Iris, what if Cito opens you up to a new level of freedom?” What? Wow. Her question stopped me in my worried thought pattern and shifted my perspective and commitment to the complete opposite – to create more freedom with him. That he did. His presence in my life is the reason that I not only became good in training dogs but I also include the wisdom of dogs in my leadership development programs for executives and companies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Dog-Gone Leadership?
It is a unique and customized program for companies, non-profit organizations, and associations where we merge the wisdom of dogs with leadership and professional development.

Does everyone have to have a dog?
No. Dogs are not a requirement to get the learnings and the growth from this program.

Will dogs have to be present in order to get the most from this program?
No. Quite the contrary. Dogs could be a distraction from learning to occur. Therefore, the dogs can stay at home and nibble on their bones.

Is this dog training?
No, this is not dog training. Iris may share stories from training dogs, but the emphasis will be on what can be learned from living with dogs and applied in the workplace.

Our company is a pet-friendly company. Can we bring our canine employees to this program?
We can discuss whether it makes sense to bring the dogs or leave them in their cube.

Are you implying that leaders should treat their employees like dogs or refer to them as dogs?
No, not at all unless they regard and treat their dogs better than their employees.

What is the format?
Depending on the outcomes that you want to accomplish with this program, we will customize the format. This is a versatile program that can be presented as a:

  • opening keynote for a conference or retreat
  • workshop / breakout session during a company retreat or conference
  • lunch’n learn program
  • ongoing workshop series in your company
  • leadership development training that can last from 1-hour to 2-day training
  • group coaching program in your company.

Intriguing enough? If this speaks to you, the best way to learn more about this program is through a conversation. I invite you to click here and schedule a time that is convenient for you.