Old Dogs


I got really irritated the other day because the new pair of pants I purchased – and had worn only once! – got ruined. My dog Halo, in all his joy to see me walk through the door, jumped up on me and his nails snagged the fabric. Honestly, I was really mad, but not at him. At me. When he was a pup, these “jumping up” greetings were adorable and welcomed … and therefore rewarded. Now that he’s 42 pounds, I’m rethinking those rewards. So when I was recently reminded of this Susan Scott quote, I thought, yep, it’s true for humans, too. (I’d go so far as to suggest it’s a mammal thing, except for … you know … cats!)

Take some time this week to consider what behavior you are unintentionally – or intentionally – rewarding. “Chew on” some of these:

  • Allowing people to submit work just a day later than originally promised
  • The monthly report you asked for years ago just magically, and gradually, stops showing up in your inbox
  • Tolerating poor attitudes
  • Enabling low performance by “helping”
  • Accepting arrivals to your weekly meeting at 10:02 – when it starts at 10:00
  • Working longer hours because someone else didn’t do their part

And remember, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Ask Halo in a few weeks.

Keep leading.

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