Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pack Leader

The most important thing that we have to provide every day is that we are the pack leader, that we set the rules, the boundaries, the limitations and then we love. Most of the people they go to get a dog because they need somebody to love, so they are going after what they need, not what the dog needs. That to me creates instability immediately, and the dog sees the human as a soft energy. They don't follow the lovable or spiritual leader, they follow a dominant one.

~ Cesar Millan

Recently, I was watching the Dog Whisperer and this particular episode was about learning how to establish yourself as the pack leader. I found it interesting listening to Cesar explain a few different ways to do this and realised that they were not only relevant to dogs but to anyone trying to establish themselves in a leadership position.

His first point was, position matters. Walking in front allows you to be seen as the pack leader. If your dog controls you on the walk, he's the pack leader. You should be the first one out the door and the first one in. Your dog should be beside or behind you during the walk.

It's the same for humans. If you truly are a leader or aspire to be one, than you do need to be the first one to put your hand up. You need to come in early, stay late, work weekends, and always try to stay one step ahead of those you are leading. You need to earn their respect and give them a reason to follow you.

The second point was, don't punch out. When you get home, don't stop leading. Have your dog wait patiently while you put away his leash or take off your shoes.

You are never done when you are a leader. You can't leave your job at work, and switch off because it's the weekend or a holiday, you're always on call. This is what separates a lot of good leaders from great leaders - the above and beyond, it's what they do when they are not getting paid to do it because they know it's the right thing.

The episode was an hour and there were many other tips, trick and treats at the end, but the above points were the most important (and relevant) to becoming a great 'pack' leader.

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