Taking the dog leash off your employees

"Ever wonder where you'd end up if you took your dog for a walk and never once pulled back on the leash?" - Robert Brault

When I walk my dog, I let him decide where we go and how long we stay. If he wants to go left, we go left. If he wants to smell a bush for five minutes, he smells. Our walk is not for me, it's for him. He calls the shots. Just because he's on a leash doesn't mean I'm going to prevent him from pursuing what interests him.

Whether you're at a big company or a small one, chances are lots of the staff are on leashes. They can only move so fast, they have to stop when told, they're tugged to go right when their instincts say left. As an employee, you've undoubtedly felt that leash weighing you down some days. But, imagine a company culture where all the employees are allowed to move freely--without that metaphoric leash yanking them back.

Would creativity abound? Would productivity flourish? Would morale skyrocket?

Some of the most innovative companies allow their employees to pursue special projects. Some dedicate a day each month for staff to delve into something that interests them, above and beyond their daily work. Because who knows where they'll end up or what they'll discover, if allowed just a little bit of freedom.

Just like a dog who's allowed to decide the direction and destination on his walk, an employee who's given the ability to pursue something he or she is passionate about can yield amazing results. And, whether you're a dog or a human, who wants to always be told what to do anyway?

If you're the one who holds the leash, go ahead and create some slack in it today. See where the adventure takes you.


  1. Great Post Amber....with much food for thought. Unfortunately, on this one, You and I will have to agree to disagree!
    There will always be those problem employees, and pets! For instance.....I have a 5 month old Chocolate Lab named Floyd. He does not get to lead on our walks. He does not get to stop and sniff the poles, the trees or much else. Why? Because Floyd has control issues! He is combative, always trying to exert his Alpha side, and in short....a real little bugger! Jumping, nipping and making Us consider renaming Him, Dick! Now, Baylee, who was Floyd's sister thrice removed, never walked on a leash, led our walks, stopped to sniff anything She pleased. Why? Because She was a good Girl. If You said stay, she did. If You said come, she did. They were like night and day! And I want to give Floyd these same Wonderful experiences....but I CANNOT! Maybe somewhere down the road...maybe not. All dogs are different

    Likewise with employees....I did small business management for 30 years. And anyone who worked under Me would tell You these things: I was a task master. I had a high expectation of performance. But, in return, I was fair in all things. I treated everyone the same. I gave fair shifts, and equal Weekend time off for All. Even, if that meant taking Weekend shifts Myself. I stood behind My employees unless the situation dictated that I ABSOLUTELY could not! What I learned about Productivity, Creativity, and respect was this.....When You are fair and honest with Your employees.....when You are willing to get into the trenches with them, get dirt under Your nails despite Your position....and when You instill in them a sense of pride in their work....in all that they do, (because Indeed their work is really a representation of who they are; involving their Integrity, their reputation), then and only then will You create an environment of Productivity, Pride and trust. And there will ALWAYS be some who can stop to sniff the poles, and some who can't! LOL

  2. Thanks for that, Eleanor! I couldn't agree more about leaders who jump in and get their hands dirty. Those are the ones who employees want to work hard for.

    As for Floyd, give him a chance. Maybe he'll surprise you. Perhaps Santa will bring him a trainer for Christmas ;-)

  3. Hahaha, He already has a trainer. But He's just got a mind of His own!


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