“Leader of the Pack”
Why you should follow Cesar Millan’s advice on becoming the “leader of the pack” in your business leadership style.
This post gives a glimpse into my personal life as I find it so interesting how business and personal (sometimes the quirky side) apply to each other…
Yesterday I went to the Cesar Millan Live Tour. He is gearing up his charitable organization and his new National Geographic Channel show, “Cesar 911.” I took my mother, who is a proud owner of two dogs (Harry and Deoogie) and volunteers dog therapy in many of the nursing homes in the Palm Springs Valley. I am also an animal lover and have always had them in my life. For ten plus years, horses were my partners in competitive jumping which I participated in at a national level. So it seemed perfectly normal to us to go listen to someone that calls themselves the “Dog Whisperer.”
Yes –there is a business tie in – I promise.
There we are at the Sunday matinee show and I listen with heightened interest as Cesar weaves in and describes his concepts and theories of “being the “pack leader,” “well balanced dog behavior,” and the three areas to focus on as the pack leader – the most important area being calm, assertive energy. I had my “ahha” moment. I think I might have been the only one in the audience thinking this – or maybe not?…
The context of Cesar’s work is his theory that you project your calm and assertive energy which provides the leadership for the dog pack, and in turn, the pack will reflect your personal energy. Keep in mind that even if you have only one dog and live alone the two of you are considered a pack. So, if you have a small business team, this also applies to you.
So let’s break down the Cesar speak to business speak:
Always lead with calm and assertive energy. This definitely applies to business. I have both followed and led experiencing calm and assertive energy and style, and have also had the unfortunate experience of the opposite.
You might say calm and assertive, what..?
Calm – def: freedom from agitation, excitement positive: tranquility; serenity:
Assertive – def: confidently aggressive or self-assured; positive: aggressive; dogmatic:
I would also add that when a leader is calm they are also present and not distracted. I had to learn this one the hard way. Meeting with teams for their weekly updates I struggled with putting all else aside, including those unscheduled incoming calls, to focus on their weekly accomplishments and areas that needed improvement. Being present with your staff shows you care,that you are partnering in their success, and that the company pays attention to the details.
I also know that when I am calm, I am laser focused and able to communicate more clearly.
Assertive, sounds so unmindful. No, I say just direct and without hesitation. You want to have an assured energy when leading. I know that I certainly want to follow someone who is sure of where we are going.
So no beating around the bush, or avoiding clear, direct communication with your team. Be to the point, give direct feedback, and be sure their goals can be measured as a whole and incrementally. This characteristics are imperative to becoming an assertive leader.
If you don’t have these details handled then there is no stability or measurement to work with. This is key!
How many of us have no idea of what is expected of us to produce this year ahead – let alone breaking those goals down to quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily? Yes, in many cases daily goals are needed — especially with junior team members who are still learning rigor in their work.
I have found that this much detail might be confrontational for certain team members, but once they get the hang of reporting in the results can be freeing especially if you deliver the expectations and feedback as a calm and assertive leader.
I also find that I want to follow a calm and assertive leader. They set the path, and context for me to follow. I want to know who and what I am following. How I will be measured, and how I fit into the team relationship as a whole.
So – my takeaway from the animal kingdom?
Calm and assertive leaders inspire us, bring us forth and hold us accountable to be our best.