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What Cesar Millan “The Dog Whisperer” Can Teach You About Leadership

If a dog has bad manners and is not following your orders it’s not the dog’s fault. It’s yours.

If your employees are slack, lazy and do what ever they want to do but not what you tell them to do. It’s your fault. Not theirs.

Leadership is not something that is handed to you. It’s not something you are entitled to simply because of your job title.

It’s something you become. Something you grow into. Unless you earn it you will never have it. Leadership starts with you – the leader. Not with finding followers.

I’ve wanted a dog for several years now. And finally the time is coming. We are about to get a dog (maybe a Labrador puppy but we’ll see).

During the Easter break we’ve spend some time watching a few episodes of Cesar Millan’s TV show “The Dog Whisperer” on National Geographic.

After watching 5 episodes or so something struck me. Not about dogs and how to raise them. But about how much dogs can help you leading a more balanced, healthy life.

About how becoming a good leader for your dog will also help you to become a better leader of your own life. And of course a better leader at work.

Here is what I learned.

Your Mindset

Something Cesar Millan always talks about is the mindset of the dog owners: “Calm and assertive”. He says this to every dog owner. When you are with your dog it’s important to be calm and assertive.

It’s in every episode. Every time. No exception!

Good leaders are calm. They are relaxed. Not stressed.

The reason they are calm and relaxed is because they are confident. They are in control. If you are in control of your life then there is no reason to be stressed. No matter what might happen around you.

If you are stressed or worried then why would I follow you? If you don’t know what you are doing or where you are going then why would I listen to you?

That’s true for dogs. It’s also true for humans.

I see this in my own life every day. I see people that are worried about the future. Worried about not having enough money. Stressed about their lives, their relationships or their work.

I know it’s tough. I’ve been there too. When I left Germany and decided to stay in Australia the first year was not easy. I was stressed about almost everything.

After traveling around Australia for more than a year I didn’t have any money left in my bank account. I did not have a job. I did not even know if I would be able to get another visa. Maybe they would kick me out of the country.

I moved to a new city. I had no “connections”. And I had no idea how we would be able to survive the next month without any money and no job in sight.

It was tough. And to be honest, it did not change much until I learned to be more calm and assertive.

Your Energy

Your energy is more important than you think. Cesar always says that it is important to send the right energy to your dog.

You can’t expect your dog to be calm, relaxed and obedient if you are feeling stressed, confused and uncertain.

Dogs can smell that. And I mean that quite literally. There are lots and lots of scientific studies that show that dogs smell other peoples energy.

Dogs discover the world with their nose first. Not the eyes. Not the ears. They smell everything. So if you want to be a good leader, send the right energy. Which brings us back to being calm and assertive.

The energy you send out is a reflection of your sate of mind. So once you are in a calm and assertive state of mind. That’s the energy you send out.

This is not only true for dogs. But for humans too. Humans might not discover the world with their nose first (although that might be worth changing). But we humans still send and receive energy to each other. Even though we can’t smell it like a dog can. We still can feel it.

If you are relaxed and meet with someone who is stressed and worried. You can feel it. It will have an impact on you (if you let it). Is that someone you think is a great leader? Someone you’d like to follow? Probably not.

Everybody is looking for security these days. Everything seems to be uncertain. Everything is changing. And changing fast.

So everybody is looking for someone to follow. Someone with a clear vision who knows where he is going. No matter what. Or in other words. Someone that radiates security. A person that sends out energy that makes you feel save and secure.

What to learn from this

Everything starts with you. If you can’t lead your own live you can’t lead anyone else.

Start working on yourself first and everything else will follow.

Practice a calm and assertive state of mind. Your state of mind will determine the energy you are sending out to others (and to your dog).

And yes, I say practice because you can train yourself to be calm and assertive. I know I can because I’ve done it. I know other people have too. Everyone I know of that has done this has seen positive changes in their lives (including me). And I hope that it will do the same for you.

Let’s all be calm and assertive. Let’s change the world by changing ourselves.