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Leadership lessons we can learn from dogs

Throughout history, dogs have earned their reputation as man's best friends. In addition to boosting morale, increasing productivity, and reducing stress, these furry companions have valuable lessons to teach us – if we are observant enough to learn. Dogs actually serve as excellent mentors in leadership skills, and the remarkable aspect is that they lead by example.

Learn to let go of grudges

One of the remarkable qualities dogs possess is their ability to forgive and forget. Dogs don't hold onto feelings of resentment or harbour hatred towards those who may have hurt them in the past. For instance, if you scold your dog for chewing on the sofa, within minutes they will have forgotten the scolding and will be happily wagging their tails at you. Learning not to bear grudges as a leader helps establish positive relationships with your employees or colleagues, which ultimately contributes to your effectiveness as a leader.

Focus on the present

Leaders often get caught up in planning, strategising for the future, or dwelling on past mistakes, inadvertently neglecting to appreciate the small victories happening in the present. Unlike humans, dogs live in the here and now. They don't burden themselves with thoughts of the past or worries about the future. Dogs embrace each day as it comes, finding joy in the simple pleasures it brings. Great leaders understand that the journey itself is a reward, and taking time to celebrate small wins with their team is crucial for achieving even greater goals.

Be willing to get your hands dirty

As a pet owner, you're familiar with how dogs eagerly embrace getting their paws dirty while playing in the mud, sand, or simply scratching the ground. Although it may be irritating for the pet owner who has to clean them afterwards, it imparts a valuable lesson to leaders. If you aim to tackle bold and audacious goals, you must be willing to dive into the work and get your hands dirty. It's not about ego but about achieving the ultimate goal.

Demonstrate loyalty

Who better to teach us about loyalty than our dogs? Dogs are unwaveringly loyal. They stand by our side through good times and bad. As a leader, you know that success isn't easily attained, and the path to success can be challenging. Along the journey, you'll need to work with individuals whom you can count on, even during the toughest moments. As the saying goes, "trust is earned," and the best way to cultivate a loyal team is by demonstrating loyalty to them first.

Prioritise rest and rejuvenation

Dogs typically sleep for about 10 to 12 hours a day. They don't take pride in constant busyness but recognise the importance of rest and rejuvenation. Leaders can glean valuable lessons from this behaviour. While humans may not require as many hours of rest, ensuring adequate sleep and recharge can greatly benefit a leader's productivity, mental well-being, and overall health.

By embracing these leadership lessons inspired by our four-legged companions, leaders can foster positive relationships, celebrate small victories, tackle challenges head-on, cultivate loyalty, and prioritise their own well-being.

Do you have a furry friend you think could be the best dog in Oz?

Edge Recruitment is excited to be supporting the 2024 #OZTOPDOG competition in partnership with people2people! TOPDOG celebrates our furry best friends and sheds some light on the positive impacts they have on our lives and mental health, especially in the workplace.

Entering your pooch in the OZTOPDOG competition is quicker than a game of fetch. You can nominate your furry friend at by 9th August for a chance to win the coveted TOPDOG trophy and prize pack – and the title of Oz’s Top Dog!