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Monica Wofford, CSP, is a professional speaker and CEO of Contagious Companies, a training and consulting firm that develops better leaders and trains managers how to become better leaders. Her Monday Moment has been a popular leadership learning tool since 2006!

No matter where you learn your leadership lessons, life and my nightly dog walk is full of them.

I was thinking of you last night when walking my dogs. That has got to sound odd, but I have two enormous dogs. A 120 pound Newfoundland and a Collie who only weighs 80. The Collie, we call Scotch (yes, as in the tape – wink, wink), takes off like a rocket and walks you. The Newfoundland, brown like a chocolate Magnum bar, his namesake, drags you along. The picture is one of two arms outstretched in opposite directions, leashes fully extended one north and one south and two dogs at either end. Got the visual? How often do you feel this way when you’re leading diversely motivated employees?

Some employees use endless reserves of initiative and push every envelope, treading dangerously close to ignoring your directions to wait. Others only come up with the energy to move when you beg, ask nicely, and then finally holler their name at the top of your lungs. Well, maybe you have more decorum than that, but no matter how you address them, they both need you to lead and lead differently.

Lead those with speed by giving greater challenges, more complex tasks and new skills to learn often. Lead those who drag encouragement, routine tasks, and mundane jobs others don’t want to do. The leaders will lead no matter how hard you pull the leash. Let them. The laggers will lag and lag more if you yell so invite them to tag along and be comfortable in their routine for a spell.

I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!

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