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Leading by Fergi – Lesson #5

Passion and Performance

FergiI was commenting to a friend during agility class this week about her border collie’s amazing drive when he gets in the ring. When he’s running a course, his head is down, he barks like crazy, and he flies over the jumps so fast one wonders if he even sees them there at all. He’s fantastic! Fergi, on the other hand, takes a more reserved approach – she prefers looking good and getting it right over how fast she goes.

When we are at a dog show, however, I’ve noticed that her drive, her passion, her performance are much different. For example, her speed is noticeably faster at a show than in a training class. And while there’s definitely a higher energy level at shows that pumps up the dogs and the handlers, which probably contributes to her enthusiasm, there’s something else. And it occurs to me that the ‘something else’ is a 6-letter word:  S-A-L-M-O-N. She is motivated by a fish!

Most agility competitors use positive reinforcement and rewards for shaping dog behavior. During training, I use salmon-flavored dog treats from the store. However, during shows, I use salmon – real salmon from the grocery store! And anyone who has eaten a salmon-flavored dog treat knows there’s definitely a difference between the two!  The real stuff sparks her passion, which drives a higher level of performance.

Fergi is crystal clear about what gets her motivated. This got me thinking: Do I know what really motivates me? What drives me to a higher level of performance – one that I may not even realize is possible? Imagine if we all knew! Imagine the change, the impact, the difference we could make in the world if we all had this clarity and focus.

This week, search for what drives you – uncover what it is that compels a higher level of performance. Like Fergi does in the dog show … I challenge you to find your fish!

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