This morning on the way to work, I walked next door from my building to get coffee. As always, I took my dog. She was not on a leash as we live next door to the building in which we work and she is well trained. Or at least I thought so.
Learning valuable lessons

On one of the busiest streets in Melbourne, she ran out on the road. This is unprecedented. The last time she ran on a road was 6 years ago when she was less than a year old and it took 2 more years before I took her lead back off her after that ordeal.

While I thought it was safe, it was not. No-one can predict the actions of a dog. She saw another dog that she knew and ran across the busiest street to catch the dog. I was beside myself. Fortunately, the cars had stopped at a red light. She knows the buzzing of the lights, so maybe she knew. Or perhaps she did not.

I ran after her screaming like a lunatic. She ignored me. She was more interested in the dog she wanted to say hello to.

Needless to say, she was in BIG trouble. I was furious. I have learnt yet another valuable lesson. First was the pool gate, second is no matter how well trained you think your dog (or people) are, you need to still keep them on a leash.

Now, for me this is a traumatic ordeal. I love my dog (Pipp) as if she were my child. I would prefer to stay at home with her than go out to a party and am known for hiring a babysitter to look after her if I have a function or party to go to. I am over the top - and am acutely aware of this, but I genuinely care for this dog. I believe on weekends, it is as important that she has a good weekend filled with variety and experiences as it is for me.

How does this relate to business? Well, many of life's experiences can help with your reflection on your business.

No matter how well we train our staff, they still need for us to pop our heads in every now and again. No matter how much we trust our staff's gut instincts, they sometimes will do things that may endanger your business or themselves. They may see something in front of them, that they want to follow, only to find out that it wasn't worth it or that it could cause a more devastating blow along the way.

A leash (although it is not a good analogy in some respects) is more about creating an environment where safety and well being is paramount. Where by leading through example, you can ensure that everything is delivered safe and sound.

Sometimes your staff won't listen to you and 'yelling' certainly doesn't mean that they are going to hear you any better than if you didn't. See what lessons you can learn today through a life experience - good or bad.

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.


  • Vib

    I agree with this, there is always a duty of care no matter what and there is nothing wrong in looking after your staff members regardless of their expertise.

    A professional business is where you delegate work to your subordinates but that doesn't mean you completely wash your hands off it !!!!

    If I had a business I would delegate work as well but at the same time I would keep checking that everything is going well etc... Its important to always have that caring factor !!!

  • Nicholas

    “Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.” Oscar Wilde
    A leash is definitely necessary to keep Pipp safe.

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