If I wasn’t already engaged to the love of my life, I just might propose to Cesar Millan. I just love that man. He gets leadership and effective communication at a cellular level. He has to… he’s the dog whisperer.
If you’re a fan of Cesar 911 on the NatGeo Channel, you are no doubt familiar with the philosophy of Cesar Millan. Cesar believes that all dogs are looking for and waiting to be led by their pack leader. They recognize that leader by the calm, assertive energy by which they communicate as well as the strong, confident posture from which they operate (shoulders high, chest forward.)
Dogs interpret energy. That’s it, just energy. Actual words mean little to them and if the words are incongruent with the internal energy of the human speaking them, the internal energetic truth trumps the spoken word every time. The same is true for us, and even though we neither walk on all fours nor have a tail or tongue which can grow bigger than our head when we’re hot… we could learn a lot from Cesar Millan.
Members of a community, work team, or family are looking for and to their leader to confidently and clearly communicate the best course of action as well as the rules of engagement and expectations. We recognize our leaders by many things … not the least of which is the internal energy we perceive from them. It is often relayed to us by the way they hold themselves, their attitudes, and their communication with us, especially in crisis or under stress. Humans, just like dogs, recognize the leader of the pack… or the lack thereof. And oh, by the way… titles mean nothing. People (or dogs) don’t follow leaders willingly and joyfully because of their title. They follow them because they are inspired to follow this person.
Calm, assertive energy is the cornerstone of a great leader. The best parents, bosses, and community leaders I’ve ever known have had calm, assertive energy. They are extremely clear in articulating or communicating what is expected, allowed, and necessary and when they give direction about those expectations, it is with a calm, certain strength and patient, steady attitude. Great leaders typically do not yell and scream, hit or force, cry and beg, or hold a grudge. They direct and correct quickly and calmly and move on.
Tom’s little Chihuahua/Dachshund mix, Roxy, died last year from cancer. My sweet, 15-year-old black lab, Jessie, is not likely far behind. Dogs have always been a big part of our lives and so together, after our wedding in May, Tom and I plan to bring a puppy, probably a yellow lab or an Australian Sheppard, into our family as well as a rescue dog who is just calling our name.
To become a good pack leader for our dogs, we will certainly be purchasing Cesar’s book, Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar’s Way to Transform Your Dog … and Your Life. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll buy it now just to become a better leader, period.
This week, remember those who look to you for leadership, including children, co-workers, and employees, want you to be the pack leader and to lead them with confidence and calm, assertive energy.
“I believe it’s our loss of connection with our instinctual side that prevents us from being effective pack leaders for our dogs. Perhaps it’s also why we also seem to be failing at being positive guardians of our planet.” ― Cesar Millan