My recent blog post titled Is Your Dog a Better Leader Than You? received a lot of great feedback but also seemed to spark a bit of controversy. Some readers have suggested that their cats have better leadership qualities. It was not my intent to ruffle any feathers – it is of course the year of the dog NOT the cat. However, it is important to be fair so I thought I would address the leadership qualities we can learn from cats. As an "owner" of two cats currently (I've had my mix of cats and dogs over the course of my life), I think I can speak on authority about the leadership qualities of cats.
Here are 5 cat qualities every leader should put in their paw:
1. Be curious.
As a leader we must remain curious to stay relevant. Continuous improvement is enhanced by curiosity. Be a student of your profession and your industry.
When a cat wakes up the first thing it does is stretch and so should you. Take this a bit further and stretch your ideas and your efforts. Stretching helps you be more flexible in your body and in your mind.
3. Be agile.
Agile, adaptable leaders generate new ideas through their ability to view issues from multiple angles. They can let go of skills, perspectives, and ideas that are no longer relevant, and learn new ones.
4. Be adventurous.
Cats aren’t afraid of trying something new. You too can learn from exploring—step outside your comfort zone and take thoughtful risks.
5. Take rest and sleep seriously.
Despite all the play, cats never seem to miss a nap! Being well rested is important because one never knows when you will have to spring into action.