If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.

“If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.”

Years ago, a friend gave me a paperweight with that statement. And while I’ve since figured out that you don’t actually need a paperweight to keep a stack of papers stationary (so his gift now hides in a drawer somewhere) I often think about this quote. It was obviously written by a Type A personality to belittle all of the Type Bs. Am I right? I’ll be the first to admit that my friend’s laser-focused drive has resulted in great business success and much wealth. Kudos to him: he deserves it.

But me? I don’t need be that “lead dog.” Sure, I strive for performing with excellence, but it’s not channeled for the sole purpose of winning. It’s channeled for honoring and pleasing someone who doesn’t keep score the way you and I do. I’m pretty happy being on a journey that doesn’t necessarily cross any specific finish line. In fact, I don’t have to be constantly moving forward. Maybe my symbol should be a crab instead of a sled dog. Maybe a counter-paperweight should read “the dog in the rear is helping move others to a better place.” A character trait that has done me well in business is not having an ego that gets in the way. I don’t need to always be out in front. I’m not wired that way. My faith (which is my strongest wiring) points me to be others-focused. Because of that, there is no predetermined straight path. I’m thankful for the people and clients who “get in my way.” Changing course to help a person is a wonderful feeling. Sometimes you help them win. Sometimes you help them just survive. Sometimes you comfort each other after loss.

In business, I’m proud to be on a team with good people doing great things for really good organizations. In life, I’m perfectly content with any view among a team of sled dogs.