If you have a young child in your home, you may have heard of a little show by Nick, Jr. named Paw Patrol. Perhaps like me, you have spent quite a few hours watching these talking animated pups “save the day” with their various abilities: Chase, Marshall, Skye, Rocky, Zuma, Rubble, Everest, and Tracker. And yes, I just named those without consulting Google. So being the odd-ball that I am, I looked at the leadership abilities of Ryder, their human companion. And it got me thinking of how the way he leads has so much we shoul imitate.
- He never puts them in a place of danger or task that he isn’t either there for or willing to do
Ryder, with few exceptions, is always where his pups are. Right in the trenches and middle of the action. He is flying high with Skye, going up steep cliffs or scuba diving in deep waters with Zuma. He isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. Shouldn’t we all be like that as leaders? How can our team follow us if we are unwilling to go where we want them to be?
2. He lets them do their job and lets them do it well
Ryder chooses and delegates who is for what job based on their unique skills. Rocky is a recycle pup and is able to find ways to fix things with just about anything. Marshall is a fire pup and is suited for putting out fires or checking the injured. Skye is great for high-flying feats. The pups for these jobs LOVE it. They aren’t forced into it and they feel suited exactly for what they are doing.
Let your people do the work they both love and do well. Is that always possible? Well no. Even Skye has to face down a scary eagle once-in-a while and Rocky has to deal with the water he hates; but outside of the growth experience these offer, Ryder knows that a pup won’t do what a pup doesn’t want to do. People are pretty similar. Your team will never work as hard or as well as when they are in a role that they love.
3. He rewards, encourages, and assists.
Even when Ryder isn’t micromanaging, he still is there to lend advice, direct, and encourage his pups. Whether it’s a treat, the praise of “good pups”, a belly rub, or a special outing; he always encourages and rewards his team for a job well done. Even when the job doesn’t go perfectly. How much do we miss doing this as a leader! How often have you heard of companies that don’t seem to reward the hard workers or even simply give a well-earned praise?
Now granted adults aren’t pups. That’s true. But they are still human beings who want in most cases to do what they love and to do it well. Even humans want the occasional treat. Don’t go for belly rubs though or that’s likely to make you end up in the pound.
Image courtesy of Nick, Jr.