Leadership – An Unlikely Resource

by Vicki on February 4, 2011

Just before Christmas, I attended a Cesar Milan seminar.  For those of you who are not familiar with Cesar, he is known as the Dog Whisperer and is featured each week on National Geographic where he helps humans and their dogs reach a more balanced state of being. Cesar is a firm believer in that to have a fulfilled, healthy and balanced dog, the dog needs to have a stable, calm and assertive leader.

Over the years, I’ve watched hundreds of Dog Whisperer episodes, I’ve read his books and I visit his blog almost weekly. But truth be told, my expectations were lukewarm for his live event – I’ve seen some pretty great speakers, and while I don’t doubt Cesar’s ability with canines, I doubted his ability to capture a crowd.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. His seminar was the single best live talk I have ever attended. Period.

Cesar was funny, engaging, informative, and made you feel as though he was personally addressing you throughout the talk – he connected with the audience in truly authentic way. His ability to lead and motivate shined through. I left feeling energized and inspired.

Thinking about the seminar and what I have learned from Cesar through his show and his books, I think he has a tremendous amount to offer in terms of leadership overall and specifically the qualities that make for good leaders. His focus is on dogs but the principles and theory behind his approach truly do fit with the leadership of humans. Some of his ideas on leadership that I think apply –

  • Have the right state of mind (i.e., calm) and project the right energy (i.e., both calm and assertive). Nobody wants to be around, much less follow, someone who is constantly in a tizzy.
  • Have an awareness of your feelings. Acknowledge how you really feel in a given situation.
  • Have and demonstrate trust, respect and loyalty to those around you.
  • Let go of past obstacles and failures. Live in the now.
  • We all seek to be fulfilled (e.g., emotionally, intellectually, etc.). Part of good leadership is figuring out how to fulfill the needs of those who follow.

If you have an interest in leadership, enjoy canines and are looking for alternative ideas to be a better leader (human or canine!) – give Cesar’s approach a try.

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