[August 9, 2019] Today is Friday, so I thought that I might deviate a little from my traditional articles on leadership and provide a few humorous points about cat ownership and how they can provide some leadership lessons.1 Yes, it’s true, you can learn from a cat. I readily admit that I don’t own a cat, but my daughter did once, so that makes me a cat amateur-in-training.
“The cat is the only animal which accepts the comforts but rejects the bondage of domesticity.” – Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon, French naturalist
I was careful in choosing the thumbnail lead to this article. While looking for an apropos photograph, I came across one that reminded me of the first boss I had while working stocking shelves. His name was Billy Cox, was an “expert” at Piggly Wiggly Grocery stores, and wore a serious, penetrating look on his face. I’m sure he did well in life.
Here are a few things my friends tell me that they have learned from cats. Some are simply life lessons while others do give a sense that even cats can teach us a thing or two:
- A good leader inspires others with their confidence.
- Be practical. Be curious. Be inquisitive.
- Be sassy, be sophisticated, but more importantly, be picky.
- Never follow; be your own man (er, cat).
- Always loyal but never a slave.
- Never be the fool.
- To be positive in a negative situation isn’t naïve, its leadership.
- Gently, you can shake the world.
- Don’t be a copycat leader.
- Remain aloof but show you care in unexpected ways.
- Think about something or someone other than yourself.
- The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.
- Artists like cats, soldiers like dogs.
And my favorite cat quote is by Mark Twain, “The man who carries a cat by the tail learns something that can be learned in no other way.”