How is raising a puppy like leading a team?

Sometimes when I’m working alone in my office, on top of the hill on my property, looking out over the lush green Oregon countryside, I wonder —  what would most be of most to you?

There is much I have on my writing docket, however, all of it is intended to be of value or service to you. I keep that top of mind.

How do I move through this process? Mostly through asking myself questions, and allowing the lessons that flow to me abundantly through my life, animals, and interacting with others.

One of the most recent sources of inspiration is my new pup, Kingston. Why is it that prior to a new puppy you think you’re a pretty good communicator, and after the new puppy you are simply too tired to think anything?

I’m sorta kidding, of course. At times, he has been very vocal about his displeasure on his crate training, but he eventually settles down. Since I work from an office with a door to the outside it’s been pretty great to keep on top of his rhythms, and so far so good. Since he’s a puppy he sleeps a lot, and that gives me nice writing time.

What this might mean for you is a question I’ve asked myself more and more recently, “How is raising a puppy like leading a team?”

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  1. Paying attention is the key to success. When I watch, keep on it and learn from my observations, I make better decisions and cut off problems before they start.. (or before too much damage has been done).
  2. Routine is everything. When we go to bed, when we go outside, where we go, and how we do feeding times. It’s not long before you realize what part of the routine works, and which parts don’t where you end up saying to yourself “What was I thinking?”
  3. Praise what you want more of.  The fact I’m praising my pup on going to the potty is not the issue. The issue is that he is going when and where I want him to go because I praise him when he does it right. Do we do this enough with those we work with? 

The pup is a joy. What a gift to receive so many lessons from something so forgiving.

May this be a gift to you as well!

Did you know the Winter edition of Top Women in the Pet Industry Magazine is now open? Click to be seen in the Winter issue. Find out more here.

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I adore you!


Shawna Schuh, CSP

Serving Leaders Who Ignite Others
 Executive Coaching, Speaking, Columnist and Author