StrategyJan 18, 2012

What are your squirrels? Avoid Distraction and Enjoy the Journey

Matt Levy

Went for a jog with Sweetie (my dog) this morning. She so badly wants to chase squirrels. They seem to be everywhere gathering nuts for winter. They like to mess with Sweetie. They jerk their tails around and try to agitate her. In our backyard they walk along the top of the fence and attempt to demonstrate their superiority. They even yell this clicking sound at her. If they could talk I think they would say something like, “you stupid dog, you have no idea the time you are wasting, but you chase me anyway, I’m just going to sit up here, move my tail and mesmerize you”.

We jog along this path with a park full of trees and grassy areas on my right hand side and a busy street on my left hand side. Sweetie has been trained to stay on the path with me without a leash. She knows to stay on my right hand side and to not venture too far off unless I release her with one of the commands she knows. There are reasons for this. First of all, I kind of like it. But more importantly, it is for her own good. If I let her chase squirrels it is only a matter of time before one of them darts off into the street with Sweetie trailing closely behind. And the cars, well, they do what they do. Sweetie listens to my voice. She knows my commands. She knows I love her and want the best for her. When a squirrel is trying to distract her I will issue instruction and she immediately looks away, back on the path, right by my side. I love that dog. The way we interact. The way she understands all I want for her is to stay on the path and to enjoy the journey with me. Such freedom. No leash. Fresh air.

Pic of Sweetie 

The world is full of squirrels. What are yours? Don’t let them distract you from your mission to be great. Who are you surrounding yourself with? Do they provide wise counsel or are they chasing squirrels themselves? Life is a series of choices. Great leaders surround themselves with trusted advisors and make great choices.

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