LEADERSHIP LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE BACK OF A DOG SLED B Y T E R I LY N N K I S S Introduction My story ◦ 20+ years with dogs OR it’s surprising what you learn when you least expect it Leadership ◦ Requirements for being a leader Characteristics • Clear communication • Understanding team dynamics • Developing strong relationships • Thinking strategically • Creating a positive environment • Being persistent • Possessing resilience • Walking the talk Having a vision Seeing beyond the immediate ◦ Where am I Imagining the future ◦ What do I hope to accomplish Dream a dream ◦ How to make it happen Creating a Team Starting with one Deciding on characteristics ◦ Conformation ◦ How they present ◦ What to look for ◦ Attitude ◦ Good, bad, indifferent ◦ Teachability ◦ Ability to learn Developing Connection Start with heart ◦ Find the common ground ◦ Have a passion ◦ Come from caring Trust is essential ◦ May not be touched, but can be felt ◦ Need to demonstrate the character and ability to gain it ◦ Four actions: listening, patience, appreciating uniqueness, gratefulness Respect is paramount ◦ Requires proof of performance ◦ What it takes to earn it The importance of discipline Discipline defined ◦ The ability to behave in a controlled and calm way even in difficult or stressful situations Don’t shoot the dog ◦ The art of training: using reinforcement to create positive patterns Pursuit as a discipline Focus on priorities ◦ You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.” ~ Stephen Covey Understanding sportsmanship ◦ Competition can be mean & dirty or classy & dignified Richard Frank: 1927 -2012 Creating a learning environment Celebrating success What is winning? ◦ Defining the concept, defining the situation The metaphor of the red lantern ◦ The reality of being last Conclusion Lessons learned "The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of life is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give." --William Arthur Ward Thank You! Resources Freedman, L. (1993). George Attla: the legend of the sled-dog trail. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books. Maxwell, J. and Dornan, J. (1997). Becoming a person of influence: how to positively impact the lives of others. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc. Maxwell, J. (2007). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership: follow them and people will follow you (10th ed.) Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc. Pryor, K. (1984). Don’t shoot the dog. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. Sergiovanni, T. (2007). Rethinking leadership: a collection of articles (2nd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Welch, J. (1989). The speed mushing manual: how to train racing sled dogs. Eagle River, AK: Sirius Publishing. Wheatley, M. and Kellner-Rogers, M. (1999). A simpler way. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc Wheatley, M. (2006). Leadership and the new science: discovering order in a chaotic world (3rd ed.) San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
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