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Running With The Wild Dogs

Running With The Wild Dogs
Pack of African Wild dogs.
September 16
10:00 2017

Dogs! Yes, I have seen them, have had a few as puppies when I was a child, but what are these ‘WILD’ Dogs that you are talking about?

This question was put to me by one of the Scientists from one of the leading pharmacological organisations headquartered in Basel, Switzerland.

I was conducting a three day Leadership Development Seminar with a group of senior management staff that also included a few research scientists. The training programme was related to ‘Developing Leadership Instincts by observing and analysing behaviours of Animals’.

We were discussing about what could we learn from the different creatures living upon this earth  and that is when I told them about the wild dogs and about their amazing and distinctive qualities related to team working and leadership!

Through this column I wish to share these qualities with all of you, my esteemed and inspired readers!

Wild dogs live in the wilderness of Africa and also some parts of the forests of Western India. There is also a species of wild dogs called the Dingo that make their habitat in certain parts of Australia.

In this column, I would be focusing specifically upon the wild dogs living in the African wilderness! These African dogs are pleasantly unique from the other carnivores and there are certain very interesting, intriguing and inspiring features about these dogs which I would be highlighting upon!

Let us therefore start riding with these wild dogs. While we are running along with them let us also observe and learn a few precious qualities that would surely help us enhance ourselves as better team managers and leaders in our professional as well as our personal lives!


Strength in togetherness

The African wild dog is actually a small sized animal, probably the size of a normal street dog and therefore, in front of a large deer or even a wild buffalo the wild dog looks almost minuscule.

However, as more and more of these small dogs get together they get more confident and courageous in their attitude to hunt down their prey.

The feeling that they are not alone but have the backing of many more gives them that mental fortitude and strength and this is what makes them believe that they can conquer the largest of prey!

I have seen not just a wild buffalo but even a giraffe being chased and then hunted by these pack of wild dogs.

I am sure you understand how important it is to deal with a tough situation or a failure or even accomplish bigger goals with the help of team work.

The leader must understand that only when he gets his entire team together and gets them motivated that he will be able to achieve the most difficult targets.

What we can therefore see and learn from these wild dogs is ‘strength in togetherness’


Perseverance and tenacity

It is said that once the wild dogs decide upon a particular prey they will never stop chasing it till the prey itself gets tired and gives up and gets eventually caught.

Even a lioness or a cheetah have been known to give up on their chase after realising that there is little chance of catching it.

However, the same is not true with the wild dogs. They just keep running after the prey and never stop for a second.

They run in packs and keep inspiring each other on. They keep motivating one another to pursue their target.

I am sure this is an inspiring quality for us to learn. When budgets or targets are set and all the team members set out to achieve them, it is important for the team leader or their manager to keep their motivations high and guide them in situations where they may lose their tenacity or perseverance towards accomplishing their goals and budgets.

Some of these team members may decide to give up on their ‘chase’ and this is when the leader of the ‘pack’ must get ‘proactive’ and ‘inspire’ that particular team member to persevere and progress!


Hierarchy and mutual respect

Though these dogs may come across as extremely wild in the way they especially eat their prey while its still alive, it is also important to note that these wild dogs observe a hierarchy within the pack.

Yes! The first to eat the prey are the senior most ones and then come the others.

There is never a fight among themselves for the food. There is this unspoken respect for one another and this is very inspiring.


Caring and helpful

Something more amazing is the fact that some of these dogs purposefully overeat and fill up their stomachs.

In fact they actually carry this food back to their homes for their little ones.

As they meet the young puppies they begin to regurgitate the food for the puppies to eat. This caring and motherly gesture is most touching.

For us managers and leaders, the clear learning that comes across is that we must learn to share and care. What must the manager or leader share? I would say that the ‘two’ most important things to share would be knowledge and along with it the experience.

Sharing of knowledge and experience can help the juniors to steadily grow in their respective careers /profession and thereby help in the growth of the organisation as well!

To me the word caring means to help your team members when they could be going through work stress or even personal stress.

Caring is about ‘understanding your every team member and slow and steadily helping each of them to grow in their respective strengths and simultaneously helping them to improve upon their improvement areas or weaknesses’

At the conclusion all I can say is that there are many amazing sea-creatures; birds, animals, reptiles and inspects to learn from. Therefore, I am sure we will keep observing and extracting various interesting and inspiring qualities from them as and when you encounter them!


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