Millions of people admire the passion of Cesar Millan, star of National Geographic Channel's "Leader of the Pack." Cesar works with man's best friend to help create a much more positive and enjoyable home life.
But, what does Millan's work have to do with running your small business? There is a common theme throughout the Dog Whisperer's work; bad behavior in dogs is not necessarily the fault of the dog, but the owner. While your employees are not comparable to the animals he works with, his ideals and processes can be valuable to any manager or business owner.
A quick breakdown of the 7 leadership lessons are as follows:
- A leader's responsibility is to create a positive, enjoyable and productive work environment.
- Calm-assertive leadership is much more effective than frantic-assertive leadership.
- People, like their canine friends, sense negative energy in their environment. This negativity is simply a reflection of the leader(s).
- Leaders must be willing to learn from more experienced and effective leaders. Those who think they know everything about people, don't.
- If employees are stressed-out, in a majority of cases, the leader is responsible.
- Leaders should never lie to their pack. The pack will eventually sniff you out.
- Pack leaders always do what's best for the pack.
Relationship to Organizational Behavior
Having observed employee and leadership behavior for many years, the wisdom of Millan also translates to the cubicle jungles all across America. As a people practices consultant, I have found that a stressful environment (negative energy) in the workplace is not necessarily the fault of employees but a natural reflection of owner/leader behavior.
Related: Are You a Modern Manager?
Relationship to Leader Behavior
To be the pack leader that every dog needs, Millan states one must project calm-assertive leadership. He tells his clients that leadership is all about doing what's good for the pack and that harmony can only be created when someone is in control.
The Calm-Assertive Leader
In his book, "Be the Pack Leader," he states that calm-assertive leaders exude calm-assertive energy. "Animals don't follow unstable leaders," says Millan. "Only humans have leaders who lie and get away with it," states the mild-mannered Dog Whisperer.
In corporate America, there are very few leaders who meet the calm-assertive test. It is reported that 75% of American workers say their boss is the most stressful part of their job, according to OnlineMBA.com. (Tweet this stat!) These unfortunate employees are obviously not supported by calm-assertive leaders.
You may ask, what is so great about calm-assertive leadership? A research study cited in Millan's book states that "nurses in cardiac care units who were grumpy and depressed had four times higher death rates among their patients than those units where nurses' moods were more balanced." Attitudes and behaviors are contagious, both positive and negative.
Those of us who are leaders have a great deal to learn from man's best friend.
Photo credit: doglivingmagazine.com
Bio: Kevin Kennemer, MA, SPHR, is writer of the Chief People Officer Blog, and a Great Workplace Advocate with a passion to help CEO's and CHRO's in creating workplaces where employees are treated with trust, respect and dignity. Based on extensive research, Kevin knows that regionally and nationally recognized Best Places to Work designated companies benefit from much higher financial returns and employee engagement. Read more about Kevin and his mission at www.about.me/kevinkennemer.