Leadership. It’s a big word that means a lot of things to a lot of people. Ask 100 people to define a leader and you’ll get at least 60 different responses. Words like strength, courage, integrity, honesty, and loyalty all come to mind. Ask a dog, and the response is pretty simple.
For us, its almost instinctual. We have a pack mentality, therefore there will always be a pack leader. And there will always be a pack leader because of our pack mentality. It is that simple. We look to our leader for everything, and do not mind doing so because we prefer to know where we stand. And if no pack leader steps forward, we will assert ourselves as the leader. Whether or not that is the best option is left for interpretation.
I’m not saying one way of thinking is better than another, but I do think there is something to be learned from especially the similarities between the two. At least from what I can tell, there is something almost instinctual about a person’s definition of leadership as well. It is personal, usually aligned in some way with one’s subjective experiences. Good leaders have a way of asserting their leadership in a way that guides rather than forces followers. A way of making them feel at home with their place in life while at the same time in control of it.
Late great American basketball coach John Wooden had a few things to say about leadership, one of them being that leaders make decisions while followers make suggestions. Because let’s face it. It’s pretty easy to make a blanket statement about something bothersome. It’s something completely different to actually do something about it.
That’s the thing about leadership. It means different things to different people. But in a way that is also the glue that binds its meaning together. Whether you have two legs or four, one thing in particular seems to ring true. The best leaders are those whose followers become leaders themselves.
So I guess I fall somewhere in the middle of the canine and the people way of thought. The way I see it, leaders are keepers of the light. They shine brightly for those in the darkness. They guide gently with even the smallest flickering flame. They help people see the way. And (perhaps most importantly) they pass the torch along so there is never a moment of darkness.
“The best leaders are those whose followers become leaders themselves.” Yes, Wyles!
High paw, dear HuntMode!
Good leaders have a way of asserting their leadership in a way that guides rather than forces followers. Yep, that is a good definition of leadership, combined with your other observation, Wiles, The best leaders are those whose followers become leaders themselves. You’re one very smart fur baby 😉
Aw, thank you Lyn. 🙂
We just got a new leader at work and I do admire her very much. With lots of changes I am happy to follow her as I get new tasks and it is rather exciting. …. For animals it is all more instinct, as for us humans it involes a lot of learning and certain skills. I do love the idea that leaders are keepers of the light, at work I would say rather the glue that holds everything together. 🙂
Glue or light – it’s all the same to me as long as the intent is pure. Yours always is, so there is no doubt in my mind you are a spectacular leader yourself, dear friend. 🙂
Ol Cissy accepted me quicker then mom and dad thought because she thinks she is the boss of them .. even after all these years with them she tries to be the boss. Never works. Any ways I am submissive I do not mind her being the boss and she has accepting like her daughter. She sometimes acts like a bully but I do not put up with that. Then mom steps in and we both get off our high horse.
A high horse is no place for us canines anyway, dear friend. 😉 All my best to both you and your mom. 😉
I love that description of a good leader, Wiles. Very inspiring. When I first came here, Mom wanted to show that she was in charge, and my obedience teacher told her she should always go out the door first and I should follow. Then one day, I was too slow, and my tail got caught in the door. From then on, I go first, so Mom can watch that my long monkey tail gets out safely. Sometimes, a leader has to follow to watch your back…..
Love and licks,
Your words inspire me, dear Cupcake.
You are very wise my little pal!
Thank you!!! High paw!
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How do you define leadership?