What Dogs Can Teach Us About Leadership

As humans, we often overlook the lessons we can learn from our 4-legged companions. Dogs have been our loyal companions for thousands of years. Therefore, it’s no secret that they have a lot to teach us about leadership.

In this podcast episode with Adrian Stark and Your Purposeful Life, we explore the relationship between dogs and leadership and the lessons we can learn from this special bond.

Below is a short overview of our conversation.

  • Owning a dog can have a positive impact on our creativity and social skills. Studies have shown that owning a pet can improve our career success by enhancing our leadership skills. In fact, a survey conducted by Kelton Research for Banfield Pet Hospital found that 78% of C-suite executives attribute their success, in part, to owning a pet as a child.
  • Walking a dog on a leash is a perfect example of leadership. While a majority of people assume that their dogs should naturally know how to walk on a leash, this is not necessarily true. Proper conditioning and training are necessary for dogs to learn how to walk calmly beside their owners. It takes mental focus for dogs to control their impulses and walk on a loose leash. Through careful teaching and guidance, dog owners can learn the necessary skills for effective leadership during a walk.
  • I also highlight the parallels between dog leadership and human leadership, understanding that dogs can be great teachers for us and can help us bring simplicity and contentment back to our lives. They’re incredibly intuitive creatures and are often said to know far more about their owners than their humans even know about themselves.
  • I encourage the listening audience not to abandon their dogs and put the blame on them when things get tough. Instead, we should take responsibility for our dog’s behavior and inactions and see how we can change our own behavior to bring out the best in them.
  • In the workplace, being responsible for our team’s well-being and performance requires empathy, patience, and careful guidance. Dogs can be a great reminder for us about how we should approach leadership with empathy and respect, rather than blame and criticism.

In summary, the lessons we can learn from dogs about leadership will carry over into our personal and professional lives and can lead to positive outcomes. We can all learn from our dogs about how to communicate, lead, and solve problems more effectively. By tuning into our pets’ behavior and body language, we learn the art of listening contextually, enabling us to be better listeners, leaders, and humans alike.

Timestamped Overview:

02:05 “Lessons in stress management from dogs”

03:37 “Paws-itively Patience: Learning from Dogs’ Communication”

05:38 “Why Dogs in Shelters Affect Mental Health”

09:32 “Pandemic Pet Boom Over: Shelters Struggle On”

11:38 “From No Dogs to Furry Inspiration: A Journey”

13:16 “Translating Dog Leadership to Workplace Success”

16:19 “Understanding Dog Hierarchy: Energy, Not Strength”

18:39 “Taking Responsibility: Improving Dog’s Undesirable Behavior”

21:40 “Train Your Dog to Walk on Loose Leash”

24:00 “Make a Difference: Volunteer or Adopt Today”