Leadership – people discuss it all the time, ponder it, lust after it, fight over it. That’s because it is significant. Leadership is imperative at every level of life. Chaos reigns without good leadership and chaos reigns under bad leadership. Jesus said that if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a ditch. (Matthew 15:14)
First, what is not leadership?
- A leader is not one because of a title. There are too many wearing a title as a badge or a reward who are not leaders.
- Position does not a leader make. Even without the title, someone in a leadership position actually has to lead.
- Leadership is not aggression.
- Leadership is not simply issuing orders.
- Throwing a fit is not leadership.
- Manipulation is not leadership.
- Doing nothing is not leadership. Watch a ship that has no one at the helm and see what happens.
Our bulldog pack, so far as I know, did not hold a caucus and elect a pack leader. As the dogs came along, they argued a little among themselves from time to time, but the consensus came about naturally. Which dog “cared” more for the others? Which one watched over the safety of the whole pack, including the sometimes clueless humans whose senses of hearing and smell were not quite as developed? The answer was obvious, even to humans who were observant.
She stepped into the position without hesitation. The others defer to her. Whenever she comes back from having been separated from the pack, she makes a quick inspection tour. Is everyone there? Is everyone in place? Is everyone all right? Only then does she settle down.
And as for those silly humans in her life, she really has to watch out for them. If a stranger is outside, she hears it and barks appropriately. She has an alarm bark for oddities and emergencies, and she has a regular notification bark for things like, “Wake up, sleepyhead humans, it’s time for breakfast and bathroom.”
As with all leaders, Snoopey is not perfect.
She is suspicious. She keeps a keen eye out for everything. That may be the result of experiences in her young life before she came to us or it may be an inborn trait.
She is stubborn, but that is bulldoggy of her and not much different from the humans with whom she associates.
She jealously guards her prerogatives which include her food and her bedding. Oh, and don’t come sniffing around her face when she is napping. She’ll set a dog straight on that in quick order. On the other hand, if you’re a human, that’s fine. Feel free to stop by anytime.
When Tiger started to challenge Snoopey a few months ago, Snoopey put her feet down, all four of them, and took her stand. I am the pack leader. Tiger, you are young and full of energy, but that is not all that a leader needs to be. I am in charge. It took a while and some human guidance along the way, but Tiger seems to be growing up and has backed off the challenge for now, though we always remain vigilant. Ambition is a terrible mistress.
Nobody elected Snoopey. She didn’t run to convince anyone of her worthiness to lead. She just led.
May God grant us, not the leaders we deserve (that would be too horrible), but His leaders.
“He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3 KJV
Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.