What Dogs Teach Us About Leadership


sled dogs are trained to work as part of an integrated team. Each dog has an assigned role whether it is in the lead or it is a power role to pull. The dogs are trained to work in pairs and with the dogs ahead and behind them as well. When you witness a dog sled race or demonstration, you see cooperation and companionship.


Sled dog teams have more than one leader. And of course, this complicates matters significantly. We all know that working in a matrix organization introduces challenges that are not present in functional or project-oriented structures. A matrix organization is defined by staff members of having more than one boss; typically, a functional supervisor and a project director. A sled dog follows the musher’s direction and also follows the lead dog, for example.

Back to Joey

A resting sled dog

Learn More

If you want to learn more about developing a strong virtual team, you need to register for one of the Virtual Team Model courses right away! Some other tools for leaders of innovation teams include the Situational Team Leadership group activity and assessing the creativity of your team with a Team Dimensions Profile. Contact me at info@simple-pdh.com or 281–280–8717 for more information on innovation, project management, and leadership training or coaching. I love helping individuals, teams, and organizations achieve their highest innovation goals!

Stop by and Say “Hi”

Are you attending the Texas Open Innovation Conference in Houston on 28 March? I’d love to chat with you. Also, I am speaking on open innovation and design thinking at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Spring Meeting in New Orleans on 1 April (Management Division). And, I’ll be at the Bay Area SHRM Conference on 4 April 2019 in Friendswood, Texas.



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Teresa Kowal

Teresa Kowal


I tackle life with an infusion of rigor, zeal, and faith. My passion is innovation and helping others improve their new product development ecosystems.