There are No Bad-Dogs, only Bad-Dog-Owners
Posted Sunday, July 14th, 2013
No Tags

Published in SatNews Worldwide Magazine, March 2013, Bert Sadtler, Senior Contributor

To assist with career and leadership issues, SatMagazine asked Bert Sadtler of Boxwood Executive Search to provide his insight. Boxwood is a management, consulting recruiting firm with offices just outside of Washington DC and in Bradenton, Florida. Boxwood’s services involve job growth, maximizing the performance of critical, senior level talent and addressing the shift in the recruitment and compensation paradigm for employers.

As a long time dog owner, I have found there is nothing more loyal than your dog that welcomes you with unconditional love when you arrive home from work. On the other hand, there is nothing more terrifying and upsetting than having a dog in your neighborhood that is loose, aggressive and capable of injuring you or your family. We as owners have a responsibility to provide direction to our pets and a responsibility to keep our dogs from harming others. As a wise man said, “There are no bad dogs, only bad dog-owners.”

So what does this have to do with the business world and recruiting?

Today’s business world faces constant challenges. Success is frequently the result of a cohesive team of employees who have overcome obstacles to win new business, keep a critical customer or solve an almost impossible issue. Motivating the team and keeping them focused on the mission becomes the challenge of leadership. Failure to retain good employees is frequently a sign that leadership has missed its mark.

Great business leaders give their employees a “long leash” and provide the employee with an empowered feeling. When done well, these employees work harder when their leader is out of the office while less motivated employees are spending some time being “silly” when their weak leaders are not watching them.

It is the weaker leaders that we might liken to a bad dog who may show aggression or intimidation to his or her employees. The result is a team of employees who perform under their potential and spend unproductive time talking about their leader’s weakness and inconsistency. While this type of leader is an issue, is this leader really THE issue? Who is responsible for this leader? Who is the leader’s manager and why aren’t they providing appropriate direction to their direct report? Is this a situation of, “There are no bad dogs, only bad dog-owners”?

How long can a business afford to perform under it’s potential, thanks to a bad dog-owner?

There is no recruiting in the world that can acquire enough replacement employees to overcome the lost productively from the bad dog-owner-type, weak leader. Good money and resources are being thrown away. Make the commitment and remain committed to being a “Good Dog Owner”. Bring in and build up strong leaders, so you’ll be leading the pack.