I’ve read quite a few books on leadership and various related subjects but I’ve never come across one quite like “The Dog Poop Initiative” by Kirk Weisler. All of us in the business of trying to help others develop their skills are constantly searching the world around us for events that can be turned into great stories. Weisler has set the bar high with this book.
The premise of the book is that there are few people who will take the initiative to solve a problem. The majority are much more likely to avoid it. As the author points out, in the case of parents, that tendency for avoidance will most likely result in a new generation of avoiders, choosing to avoid, rather than solve, problems.
This is a terrific leadership lesson. What example are you, as a leader, setting for your people? Leaders must be ever mindful that they are always being watched. What they do, or don’t do, can have immediate results, but can also have far reaching consequences. Leaders who avoid problems or sweep issues under the rug will find their subordinates will begin to do the same. When the leader then protests that type of behavior, a conflict will develop that will be impossible to resolve without a change in the leader’s behavior.
I found another interesting application to this story. One of a leader’s most important jobs is developing new leaders. “The Dog Poop Initiative” provides a perfect example of one character trait to look for in potential new leaders: initiative. A person who is not willing to take the initiative when the situation calls for it will probably not be a good leader.
This is certainly one of the shortest book reviews I’ve ever written. But then “The Dog Poop Initiative” is one of the shortest books I’ve read. That’s why I haven’t spent much time on the story line either. To do so would be to give it away. The story is only 23 pages; each page containing a rhyming sentence and some illustrating art work. It isn’t just a children’s book though. It’s one of those clever little books you’ll put in your office for others to read, hoping they get the point.