Written by Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: Ashley Ford-McAllister
Founder & Owner of: Negative is Also a Charge
Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor, Business and Successful Living Writer
Who needs a business MBA, or any of the hundreds of “tips for success” books when you can learn all you need to know about business from a dog? (Plus have a companion on those blow-away-the-cobwebs walks.)
1. Once you’ve got a scent, keep on it. Dogs don’t EVER just go “yeah, well, it’s interesting, but it’s not for me. If they smell something, and they’ve got half a chance to follow that scent – they’re gone.
2. Work happy. A dog at work – herding, hunting, guiding – is a happy dog. His tail will be up, her ears will be forward, bright eyes and a happy, tongue-lolling grin will be the first thing you see. We should all try and be that happy at work.
3. Find your pack. Dogs are social; they know the rules of group living, and they stick by them. Herding dogs often work in pairs and trios, foxhounds run as a pack, and sled dogs are always a team. But,Northern Breeds rarely work well with Collies, and Terriers seldom have patience with the larger, slower breeds. Know what you are, and with whom you belong.
4. Never bite when a growl will do. Teeth and claws, for a dog, are weapons of last resort. Their first communication of discontent is non-verbal, moving up through various stages of growl. They know a bite will lead to a fight that they might not come back from, so they avoid it if they possibly can. Most things can be settled with a firm assertion of boundaries, rather than fists, or handbags, at dawn.
5. Investigate everything. Sure, it may look like nothing more than a blade of grass among other blades of grass, but there might be something different about this one! And what’s that noise over there?!
6. Take time to rest before you get tired. Most of the time, when dogs aren’t working, they’re resting – sprawled on a sofa, a bed, or the floor, maybe lazily watching the world go by, maybe actively sleeping. They don’t keep going for the sake of “looking busy”, and suddenly drop of exhaustion.
7. Food is fuel! Dogs NEVER pass up an opportunity to eat – it’s what means a Border Collie can spend ten hours traversing the hills, what enables a sled team to travel miles at a time over packed snow. Make sure you’re getting the right fuel for your work.
8. Territory is all important. Dogs don’t tolerate trespassers on their turf, and they don’t surrender territory without a fight. Co-operation is for packmates, not challengers.
9. Listen. This really needs no explanation – dogs listen with the whole of their body, focusing solely on what’s coming in through their ears.
10. Do your job, not everyone else’s. Dogs in community fall into wolf-like hierarchies. Wolves have set roles, although they allow for a degree of fluidity, because, hey, stuff happens sometimes.
The two “lead” roles are Alpha, and Beta – the Alpha is the leader, standing back, observing everything, indicating with a movement of head, ears, or tail who should go where and do what in response to a new situation, while the Beta is the gatekeeper, challenging newcomers, making sure those seeking membership of the pack are tough enough to survive it, and seeing off threats.
The Alpha doesn’t get involved in bully-boy tactics and thuggery – that’s the Beta’s job – and the Beta doesn’t decide when, where, and how a hunt will be carried out – that’s the Alpha’s job. The lower ranks have their jobs, too – including the Omega, who is simply there for everyone else to take out their frustrations on!
So, for business success, be more dog!
Article Credits: Ashley Ford-McAllister
Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor