The Husky Sled – What is Your Leadership Behavior?

The husky sled is a perfect metaphor for various leadership situations. One leader and her team. I use this example for discussions about useful leadership behavior (I avoid the term leadership style, because behaviour emphasizes your active role).

Leadership from behind doesn’t mean you can lean back.

Cheering up the huskies: Some are standing on the sled cheering the huskies up ‚let’s go‘ ‚you can make it!‘ ‚only 20 miles to go’…

Being a huskie: Some are in the middle of the pack, trying to drag like a dog themselves ‚Hey buddies, I’m like you guys. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty‘

Freeloader: Some do not lead at all and let the huskies drag ‚Hey guys. Our big boss wants X. We’re a team right? Whatcha gonna do?‘

Loner huskie: Some want to acheive a goal no matter if the others are on board ‚Hey guys, do X everybody!!! Aaargh, let me do it myself, step aside!‘

There’s a couple more possible constellations. You can easily draw them all on a flip chart to discuss pros and cons. Everybody will get it immediately and you don’t have to talk about academical leadership styles.

And as a conclusion, you can teach them that in real life – in the snowy solitude of Canada, just you and your huskies – you can’t rely on your own favourite ’style‘ – you need all leadership behaviours if you want to survive the adventure and bring everybody home alive.

And if you fall into a crack and break your hips, even the freeloader might be an option for a while, in that case I hope you have created a great team to carry you.

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