At this point in your training you may have realized how tough leadership can truly be. The consistency and control needed of your emotions can seem beyond reach for many. I am here to tell you that everyone has the ability to become a leader. The only limitations you have to becoming the best pack leader you can, are the limits you put on yourself. Leaders don't quit. Dogs (and humans) instinctually recognize leadership because it's natures projection of balance.
Definition of leadership: Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent.
~If you make decisions for others then you have power but may not be a leader. Parents, teachers, managers, coaches, CEO's and politicians are all examples of those who have power over others, but as we all know may not have what it takes to lead those they control.
~Leaders use calm, assertive energy at all times. This energy is applied consistently, patiently and fairly to all members of the pack.
~A leader's best interest must always be for the good of the pack. Self-serving energy is not balanced and will always create ripples in the pack.
~Leadership is based on trust and respect. There can be no respect without trust.
~Followers determine if a leader is successful.
~The primary tools of leadership are energy and discipline. Effective discipline applied properly, with a calm energy, uses consequences when rules are broken, not frustration. If you get frustrated as a leader you are communicating a lack of control to the pack.
~Discipline with calm energy is understood and effective. Discipline with unstable energy is punishment. Punishment is control out of fear. If your pack fears you they will do just enough not to get punished. If your pack respects you they will go beyond what is expected to help advance the good of the pack.
~All members of the pack must follow the rules. All members of the pack must be disciplined for breaking the rules...no exceptions. It is vital to understand each pack members sensitivity to discipline. Too much pressure makes that member not trust you. Not enough pressure and that member does not respect you.
~All leaders set clear rules and boundaries that are understood, and always enforced.
~Communication breakdowns are the number one reason relationships fail. Communication includes your actions. Actions speak much louder than words so be mindful of what your actions communicate to the pack.
~Leadership is a culture that starts at the top. If leaders don't guide the pack and set examples, you can't expect the pack to follow.
Principles of Leadership
A leader understands how they are effected by their emotions and how that impacts those around them
A leader must understand their role and duties as well as have an understanding of what duties each pack member is to perform.
Personal and Professional Responsibility
As a leader you are ultimately responsible for the packs success and failures. Don't criticize or point fingers. Make adjustments and move on.
Sound Decision Maker
As a leader you must make the best decision possible for the pack based on the information available at the time. Be timely and thoughtful, never hasty.
Lead by Example
Pack culture starts at the top. As a leader you are looked to as the ultimate example of what is expected. Act irresponsible and you lose respect. Without respect you can not have trust.
Create Pack Cohesion
Know the members of your pack. Leaders nurture good behaviors with positive reinforcement. Only pointing out the bad keeps the bad alive. Leaders must recognize when the pack is performing well and praise accordingly.