Tag Archive: Leadership in animal welfare organizations


People Matter Too

Once again, last week I heard of two incidences of very poor management and lack of leadership in animal welfare organizations. Each case showed a complete disregard for people, the need for power, and the guise of helping the animals to further one’s own agenda. Why does this happen one too many times in these organizations?

I’m upset and am looking for answers. The line of people who have been trounced on while working or volunteering for animal rescue organizations is too lengthy. Where is the compassion for people? Without people, animal welfare organizations cannot thrive. They depend upon people to volunteer, adopt, and donate. People are deserving of as much compassion as the animals.

Tell me, how can we create better leaders in animal welfare organizations? We need better role models, not power-hungry, dictatorial anarchists who hide their hideous actions behind the mantra of “it’s all about the animals.”

If you are working for or with an upstanding animal welfare organization, please comment and let me know who it is and why they are doing a good job. I need this reassurance right now because I only know of a couple of places with integrity in my local area. That’s a sad commentary on the realities of animal rescue. We are working to help the animals but people matter just as much.

Leader vs. Manager

“A leader can be a manager but a manager is not always a leader. And a leader is not always a manager. Leaders are someone that people look to for guidance, and that can be anyone who exhibits qualities that people respect and like to follow. Leaders understand that people are not robots, that they have feelings and families and personal issues. They care about people. They know that happiness on the job results in more productivity, and more productivity means a better organization and more profitability.”

This is an excerpt from my latest book, Leadership in Animal Welfare Organizations: Using Positive Dog Training Philosophies to be Better Leaders. I’ve witnessed many people get promoted to management positions but have never received training to be a manager or a leader. What are the attributes of an excellent leader?

• Calm and in control without being dictatorial, panicked, or angry. Conveys confidence in the midst of crisis.
• Builds trust with integrity to his or her word. A good leader never lies. Once an employee, volunteer, or supporter catches the leader in a lie, all credibility is lost and he or she cannot be trusted again.
• Understands that people matter. An organization is just bricks and mortar if there is no staff to fill it. Without people, there is no organization.
• Knows that when people are treated with respect, they are better workers.
• Realizes that he/she cannot do everything himself/herself and therefore delegates to the staff.
• Takes the time to communicate individually with staff members, finding out what each person’s strengths and weaknesses are and capitalizes on them.
• Keeps the lines of communication open with staff. A good manager checks in with each one of his or her direct reports every day to find out if there is anything that the staff member needs.
• Leads by example. A good leader does not tell employees to do one thing and then does another.
• Sets understandable goals and priorities, and ensures that they are effectively communicated to everyone. There should be clearly developed job descriptions for every employee and reviewed with the employees so that there is no confusion about responsibilities.
• Encourages teamwork and collaboration.

These traits apply, regardless if you work in an animal welfare organization or not. We all need good leaders. Are you a manager or leader in an organization? Learn more in the book, available here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I84HTIG

I am so very pleased to announce the publication of my latest book, Leadership in Animal Welfare Organizations: Using Positive Dog Training Philosophies to be Better Leaders.

The huge numbers of homeless animals are depending on us to help them. This means that animal welfare organizations need excellent leaders to ensure that the organizations are operating optimally. Leadership in Animal Welfare Organizations discusses what happens to organizations when managers use outdated management styles which alienate employees, volunteers, donors, and supporters. The book identifies what it means to be a good leader, the role of the board of directors, and reviews how the theories of positive reinforcement dog training can be used as a parallel to understanding the need for updating management skills to be better leaders.

The book is available for purchase in Kindle format and is only $5. Please share with your friends and colleagues. The message of good leadership not only applies to animal welfare organizations; it applies to all organizations. After all, what is an organization but its people?

Purchase here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I84HTIG

Leadership Book Cover Final 1-31-14