Lead Like a Dog
What can leaders learn from dogs?
In a quick, humorous read, co-authors Krissi & Dan Barr, in The Fido Factor: How to Get a Leg Up at Work, share how dogs can motivate each of us to become a more effective leader. Dogs can teach leaders the importance of being faithful, inspirational, determined and observant. I won’t mention how this book will help you unleash your potential, have you barking up the right tree, or help you get a leg up at work.
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” –Mark Twain
4 Traits Leaders Should Emulate
“It’s time to lead like a dog.” That’s the last sentence on one of your first pages, and it would surprise most readers. Tell us what you mean.
It likely won’t come as a big surprise to the 44 percent of American families that have dogs! Clearly we’ve taken some literary license in drawing the leadership parallels between dogs and business leaders, but the truth is there are many important lessons we can learn from our four-legged friends.
We boiled it all down to four traits dogs exhibit: they’re faithful, inspirational, determined and observant. Anyone who improves in those areas will become a better leader. And we’ve filled the book with hundreds of practical ways to do just that.
The Hallmarks of a Faithful Leader
Faithful is the first trait in FIDO Factor. What are the hallmarks of a faithful leader?
At the core of it, faithful leaders earn the trust of their team and their customers by doing the right things and living up to their word.
Form a bond with a dog, and you’ll have a faithful friend, someone you can depend on and who will defend you no matter what. When you are regarded as faithful, it means you’ve earned trust. You can be relied upon.
Trust comes from being loyal to your teammates and customers and doing what you say you’re going to do when you say you’ll do it. It’s awfully hard to be an impactful leader if others don’t think you’re committed to the cause.
The issue of being faithful at work goes to the heart of team building. To get both results and loyal team members requires a personal connection based on your team’s belief in you and what you stand for. You need to build trust to be influential, and you need to be faithful to build trust.
Faithful leaders work in a way consistent with both their company and personal values. They don’t spend sleepless nights worrying about what they said, how they acted or whether or not they did the right thing. That’s because they make values-based choices that put the good of the team ahead of the personal interests of the leader—just like your dog does.
“Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.” –Kinky Friedman
Inspirational is number two. You say, “Inspiration moves people to do the extraordinary.” What is it about inspirational leadership that draws us in so fast?