What Puppy Training Can Teach You About Leading and Managing

Over the next few weeks we’re going to share our experience with training our puppy, Liesl. You see, puppy training—much like the understanding of leading and managing—has really changed over the past 10 – 15 years.

The current ideology around puppy training is built on positive psychology and the understanding that recognition and reward are stronger motivators than fear and criticism. This same knowledge is emerging in the leadership and manager literature.

Increasingly, the data suggests that people and puppies learn much more quickly when they know what you’re asking from them and are recognized when they do it. And, while that all sounds quite simple, we can assure you, it’s not. Not with puppies nor with people.

It requires:

  • Rewarding the right behaviors
  • Ignoring most of the others
  • Paying close enough attention to spot the right behaviors
  • Recognizing the natural differences between breed/people
  • Determining what success looks like and building toward it
  • Doing it over and over again, particularly with those behaviors that are not natural

Over the next six weeks we’ll be talking about each of these areas as they relate to puppy training and as they relate to leadership and management.

As humans, our brains are both quite different from
puppy brains and not so very different from puppy brains.

Like a puppy being distracted by a squirrel, most of us have had the experience of being very focused on a project that’s important to us and to our work and being totally derailed by the appearance of a pizza in the workplace. Or maybe that’s just us?

We’re excited to share this experience with you and to hear your thoughts.

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