Cody Dog Lesson of the Week: Managing Agendas

Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA
Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA

When Cody and I go for walks, we always have different agendas. He wants to sniff, look for food, visit other dogs, and pee. I want a little aerobic walk, log a mile or more, say hi to neighbors, and like today, get it all done before the rain starts.

This morning we discussed how we could find a happy medium between these two sets of objectives, some of which dovetail and some of which differ. I think our learnings apply to situations we all may face at work and in life and provide a tool to avoid or at least diminish the intensity of stressful situations.

First, Cody and I established which objectives are primary. In fairness, I must admit that the walks are, most importantly, for his benefit. He needs to get out of the house, run around, do his business, and socialize. Running into Skipper, Harper or Milly is particularly beneficial as we get two things done at once: playing and sniffing. 

On the other hand, when we are just on our own, his insistence on stopping every 15 feet means that my potential mild aerobic walk becomes a crawl and is of little personal benefit to me. I don’t mind a little sacrificing, but I’d appreciate it if he could meet me halfway (every 30 feet?)

Today, we came up with an excellent solution.

As we turned a corner to a quiet part of the neighborhood, I let him off his leash. He immediately sunk his nose into a part of the shrub bed, and I began to walk quickly down the sidewalk. After about 20 seconds, he raced past me and peed on the fence up ahead. We continued our journey, each of us finding satisfaction in accomplishing our goals. As we entered a little more heavily trafficked part of the neighborhood, we both returned on leash, and we went back to his sniffing and my gentle tugging.

In our work and life, there are many times when our agendas differ from those we work or live with on a daily basis. Taking them off their leash relieves both of you from having to walk the same path. One of you may need to stop and sniff and the other to move ahead, briskly. Don’t be surprised, however when that other person catches up or even runs past you.  There are different ways to get the same objective accomplished

In your resilience work, there are small steps we can take to ameliorate frustrations and aggravations before they happen. I call it “Intentional Resilience,” and it is a powerful tool I teach to leaders and managers like you so that adversities soon become opportunities.

Give me a call or drop me a line so we can explore how to make your organization robust and resilient.

© Richard Citrin 2023

Share this post


Subscribe to Richard’s Resilient Wednesday:

Get a Midweek Boost and a bonus Sample Chapter from Strategy Driven Leadership

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Subscribe to Richard’s Resilient Wednesday:

Get a Midweek Boost and a bonus Sample Chapter from Strategy Driven Leadership

Create a Powerful Workplace Culture

Discover the 10 Keys To Strategy Driven Leadership