Dogs aren’t called man’s best friend for nothing. They’re fantastic companions — loyal, attentive, warm — and they teach us new ways to love and be loved. Dogs can enrich our lives in ways we never really thought — even in how to become a better leader.
#1: Never Hold Grudges
The first leadership lesson that you can get from your dog is to forgive without holding any grudges. You may remember the time you were mad at your dog by mistake or that one time you accidentally forgot to feed them on time, but they won’t. They’re likely to remember that you feed and care for them regularly and that they can trust you.
When working with a team, people make mistakes all of the time. Good leaders should be able to look past those mistakes, figure out how to solve them, and simply move forward.
#2: Learn How to Appreciate Loyalty
The second lesson is loyalty. Dogs are extremely loyal and will stand by you no matter what. They’d likely lay their lives down for you. Good leadership doesn’t necessarily mean laying down your life for your team, but it does mean standing by your team even when things get tough.
#3: Focus on the Present
Dogs are well-known for their carefree and happy dispositions. They can find happiness in the smallest things, be it from hugs and pats to balls thrown out for fetch. In leadership, we often get overly focused on the big picture and plans to the point that we’re blinded to the efforts of our teams or we take small wins for granted.
Through our dogs, we can learn to focus more on the present and appreciate the journey, which can help us find our way to success without getting burnt out.
#4: Learn How to Commit and Be Responsible
Owning a dog is a long-term commitment. When you take your pup home, you take full responsibility for them — from their food and health to their daily exercise.
Taking care of dogs teaches us the leadership lesson of making a decision and sticking to it. And when working with a team, we need to make difficult decisions that we have to take responsibility for and stand by.
#5: Never Forget to Rest
As leaders, we may find it hard to relax or rest after a stressful day. Maybe our emotions are too high, or we can’t stop thinking about different possibilities. Dogs don’t have this problem since they’re always aware of when they need to rest. Tired from a walk? Sleep it off. Exhausted after a game of fetch? A nap would be great. For us, we can learn that rest is just as crucial as every little task that we’re trying to accomplish.
Dogs are also wonderful stress relievers. So the next time that you’re feeling overwhelmed with work and need to unwind, let your dog help by letting him shower you with unconditional love and getting your mind off work.
Adopt a Pet to Learn These Leadership Skills
Owning a dog offers so many wonderful benefits. If you don’t already have one and feel like a dog might help make you a better leader, make sure you get a pet from verified breeders. Check their registrations, visit them personally, and make sure they’re vaccinated and screened for diseases. Proper research is crucial in every new venture.