May Blog

This month we will discuss:

  • Make it Simple (using examples, analogies and experiences to teach leadership points).
  • Quotes
  • Chesapeake News
  • “What I Learned About Leadership from My Dog.”


Make It Simple:

The young pastor took a clay pot, looked the congregation in the eye and smashed it on the floor.  He was explaining that the villagers that lived in the hometown of the prodigal son would run to the city’s edge and break clay pots forming a line where the person would never be able to return home if he attempted such a thing.  The villagers would have been angry because the father, not having liquid assets, would have to sell off a significant portion of his farm, to give this son his share of the inheritance and that would cause some villagers to lose their job working on the farm.  I have heard preachers teach this story for over six decades and I have never understood it as well as I did once he had finished.  Granted, Mark (the pastor) had new information that was interesting but smashing that pot insured I would not forget it.  I will remember the pot, which triggers memory of other parts of the story.

Leaders are teachers – or at least good ones are.  Adding value to those in your sphere of influence so they can be successful is what it is all about.  Many times, your folks make things more difficult than they need to be.  Your job is to make it simpler and make learning easier.  Jesus used a lot of agricultural analogies – those analogies were appropriate 2,000 years ago and for the most part work today.

Work at making your own analogies.  For example, we use a fruit orchard to explain the relationship between producing a product, corporate culture, and leadership.  The fruit tree is the process, which is planted in a culture and the leader is responsible for what goes in the culture.  It is a bit more detailed than that, but you get the idea.  It is easier to keep someone’s attention discussing pear trees than it is discussing accounting spread sheets.

A good example is the book we are featuring this month, “What I Learned About Leadership from My Dog.”


  1. Do right and right will follow you. Frank Stokes, Sr.
  2. Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7
  3. The time is always right to do what is right. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  1. Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  Calvin Coolidge
  2. We are born and we shall die.  The person who is in communion with God wears mortality comfortably. To be with God is to be at home in this world and the next.  Rueben Job
  3. Routine and discipline are inevitable factors in any true accomplishment.  Elkworth Kalas
  4. We give dogs the time we can spare, the space we can spare, and the love we can spare.  In return, dogs give us their  all.  It’s the best deal man has ever made.  M. Facklam
  5. Action is only chaos unless there is also structure, and that’s where life’s rituals and laws come in.  Elkworth Kalas
  6. The practice of prayer creates open space – space in our hearts and minds, space in our lives, space in which God can hem us in (Psalm 139:5), space in which we can notice and listen for the activity of the divine in our lives.  Daniel Wolpert
  7. Heeding God’s call can mean leaving home and all that is familiar. It can demand our accumulated wealth and security or dare us to place our blessings, even our lives, at risk. It can also mean simply living where we are but with an entirely new set of priorities. In every case, our particular vocation in God’s service arises from our response to the basic call to radical availability.  Gerrit Scott Dawson
  8. Humility is the firm foundation upon which our spiritual life is built. Humility is not underestimating our worth or allowing ourselves to be defined by another.  Humility invites us to say, “no thank you” to being the center of our own universe. Humility is recognizing that we are God’s creation and allowing ourselves to be grounded in that truth.  Kathleen Flood
  9. I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source. Doris Day


Chesapeake News:

Our non-profit, Chesapeake Unity Foundation is co-hosting another Community Unity event June 23rd at the McDonald Hughes Center in West End.  We tentatively have another event planned for August 23rd at the Belk Center in the east end of town.  Go to our website for more information.

How is your emotional Intelligence?  Most feel it is much more important than IQ.  Our EQ assessment measures:

  • How well you know yourself.
  • How well you manage yourself.
  • How well do you read your environment.
  • How well do you behave in that environment.
  • How motivated are you to improve.

It takes less than ten minutes to take the assessment and it is quite affordable.  If you would like to give it a whirl, please contact Dan at and he will fix you up.

What I Learned About Leadership From My Dog:

 I have gone through phases of being interested in a hobby and will pour into it – then go on to something new.  That has worked for me and has exposed me to some great learning over the years.  Some of the examples:

  • For years I enjoyed running. I never did a marathon but close.  Five miles or more per day was normal and 16 miles was my top end.
  • I was not a good golfer but based on what I learned from one of our clients (Callaway) at one time I was an average golfer meaning I shot 105 and would lose about five balls per round.
  • Bike riding. I got a super deal on a hybrid (racing/road) bike and averaged about 100 miles per week.
  • Dog training – with working dogs. That lasted close to a decade, and I still am the only AKC approved evaluator for the Canine Good Citizenship test in west Alabama.

For most of our marriage, Linda and I have owned German shepherds.  We love the breed and have been both lucky and deliberate in getting some excellent dogs that had great “working line” pedigrees.  We got Maggie from a breeder in Vance, Alabama back in the late 1980’s and I decided I would pour into her with a lot more than my normal training of dogs.   I would train her for dog sports like Schutzhund and special training like search and rescue and drug detection.  It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.

Also, while training Maggie it seemed as if working with humans would be the same so I made that assumption.  Here are some of the things I learned:

  1. Leadership is about relationships and our level of self-awareness is critical.
  2. Trust your dog if you want peak performance.
  3. Be in the moment.
  4. Be more serious about your dominion and your responsibilities.

And more.

You can get the book on Amazon or from Chesapeake by clicking this link.