Captain Jack and Bella despise cats. Despise them.
When a cat is spotted on one of their walks, the histrionics begin. Resounding barking, bellowing angst, and powerful lunging that takes all my effort to keep them restrained. The cat, however sits silently, with a mocking glare that exacerbates their fury.
The ‘rivalry” between dogs and cats is centuries old. Our own pop culture characterizes this antagonism through mediums like cartoons, commercials, and school mascots. Ironically, this battle isn’t solely confined to our furry friends. I’ve spoken with many a business owner that has complained that his or her employees (and often leadership) “fight like cats and dogs.”
In any company, this clash leads to less than “unleashed” consequences. Some of the conflict may sound like my dogs obnoxious howling and posturing. Other times, the animosity is as stealth as a cat’s sly, shrewd stare. Regardless of number of employees, this leads to wasted time, poor performance, lost revenue, higher turnover, and high drama that sucks energy and time from your team and organization.
If you’re in a position of influence, it’s your responsibility to be a catalyst for change. I’ve heard and seen dogs and cats co-exist under the same roof. At some point, they were influenced to strike a culture of playing well together for the greater good (they both have agendas, too).
You’ll never be in a situation where you don’t have different styles, personalities, and opinions in your company. Conflict can be healthy if used for good, not evil. By creating a culture of “playing for each other,” as outlined in my book Unleashed Leadership, you’ll be able to harness the talent and skills of both your dogs and cats to accelerate profitable growth and better work conditions.
Bonus: Families are also prone to dog-cat rivalries. If you are part of a family-owned small business, those passions can become inflamed. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor if you can learn how to influence others to create that better condition for all.
Quote of the Week:
Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.
~ Agatha Christie
P.S. Having trouble with your own dogs and cats? You have the ability to fix this yourself, however if you need guidance and help to it, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk. I may not be very good at influencing my dogs, but I am better with people! Lets talk.
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