PREFACE

 

This book is different.

There are thousands of books on the market about how to lead people. Some classics have been around for hundreds of years. But the problems facing managers and leaders today call for a different approach.

  • “The work ethic seems to have gone out the window.”
  • “I can’t get my new workers to get along with my senior people.”
  • “No one seems to care anymore about what we do here.”
  • “Generation X and Y don’t talk to each other.”

Sound familiar? These and other complaints reflect real problems, and they manifest themselves in lost productivity, employee frustration, diminished communication, and slow or mixed responses to customers.

What is a manager or supervisor to do?

Master Your World: 10 Dog-Inspired Leadership Lessons to Improve Profits, Productivity, and Communications demonstrate a systematic approach that works with people from diverse backgrounds, of all ages, at all levels of the organization, and, of course, with all dog breeds. I admit it. Talking about my dogs is my way of tempting you to pick up this book. No, it’s not about training badly behaved dogs, nor is it filled with fluffy, feel-good sentiments. It is about practical, sensible strategies for understanding people and getting the best from them. This book is not nearly as furry as it sounds.

As an experienced, practicing economist who spent more than twenty-one years in the U.S. Navy as an active duty officer, I’m accustomed to working with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Working with people is both a privilege and a responsibility. I genuinely want to make the workplace better, improve processes, reduce unnecessary paperwork, and help people enjoy their work. I have learned something valuable from every person I have worked with.

This book reflects personal experiences and tried-and-true techniques for getting the behaviors and performance you want from the people you work and live with, and, yes, even with the canines in your life. It has been assembled for new managers, experienced supervisors, and team leaders who are looking to improve their workplaces as well as parents and community leaders seeking fresh ways to deal with challenges. If you come away with some useful dog training tips, that’s an added bonus.

This book includes ten principles or lessons about eliciting the right actions from the people around you. Scenarios to positively affect interaction outcomes, including techniques that worked and approaches that didn’t, are described in realistic terms—cued by lessons my dogs taught me. It also covers how to work with difficult personalities, how to manage your boss, how to transform poor performers, and how to reward employees in meaningful ways. For example, Lesson One deals with the basic training principle—Reward Good Behavior— and leads into Lesson Two—Don’t Reward Bad Behavior. Lesson Three might be the most difficult: Being Consistent. The seven lessons that follow get more specific with actual “how to” details to implement changes and achieve the desired results.

It is my hope that this is a leadership book that will hold your interest and add value to the many facets of your life. I hope you put your paw prints all over it. Good luck mastering your world.

 

Mary C. Kelly