Last week, I had the privilege of hosting Tracey Jones and Mr. Blue for my organizations latest incarnation of our Professional Book Club. Our discussion this month was the book True Blue Leadership, which was written by Ms. Jones, with assistance from her dog Mr. Blue. The book offers classic advice on leadership and business success with a unique spin – it was written from the dog’s perspective.
Anyone who owns one knows dogs are pretty observant. I can personally tell you there’s not a person, animal, plastic shopping bag, that goes by our house without my dogs telling me about it. It seems dogs are pretty observant about what goes on in the workplace as well.
In True Blue Leadership, Mr. Blue offers loads of useful advice in ten easy to read chapters. Blue tells us in the first chapter how to work like a dog by working out problems yourself instead of having to bring every little thing to your supervisor. As Blue puts it “When I see a squirrel or a possum in my yard, do I ask silly questions about how it got there? No!!! I take action and immediately escort the intruder off my premises!” Another favorite talks about dealing with the negative people in the workplace, who Blue refers to as life’s vacuum cleaners because they “make a lot of noise and stir up dirt.”
Our employees, who all read the book in advance of meeting to discuss the book together, all thoroughly enjoyed the book and found useful information they could apply in both their work and personal life. They were very appreciative of Ms. Jones coming down to meet us and discuss the book as well as how her background and experiences helped to establish her leadership principles.
As a trainer, I am always looking for ways to enhance the learning experience. I want to inspire individuals to think more, do more, and become more. We offer a lot of formal workshops on leadership, coaching, and soft skill topics. Providing informal learning opportunities such as our Book Club expands the resources to train and develop employees. It’s akin to participating in gym class when you were a kid. In gym class you were exercising, but it was disguised as running around and playing games.
Organizations should utilize more informal learning opportunities to balance out their overall training program. Incorporating books are a fun and affordable way to add another resource to develop employees and build teamwork.
Posted by Michael Patterson.