Does Your Team Have The Same Goals As You?

I’ve noticed lately I no longer enjoy my walks with my rescue pup, Louie. It saddens me to share that publicly, but it is the truth—a truth I had to take time to explore and understand.

I love to walk because I enjoy the outdoors and because it’s an excellent way for me to exercise. I also enjoy seeing my neighbors and getting a chance to catch up with them.

But apparently, Louie takes walks for a different reason.

Click the link below to read more…

 

Does Your Team Have the Same Goals as You?

Love Like Louie Book Clubs…
Has your child and their friends read Love Like Louie, or are a group of you interested in reading the book together?

Louie and I would LOVE to speak to your little book club about the book and the lessons learned 🐶

For more information on how to schedule a session with Louie and Danise, email us at danise@di-advisors.com #lovelikelouie #kidsbookclub

Missed our previous blogs? Check out our leadership blogs here:

 

How Could One Word Be So Disruptive?

“I hope you have a good lawyer,” said the CEO as he leaned back in his chair. He meant no malice by that comment. He was just confused about the use of this one little word.

Read more about this four-legged, I mean letter, word!

 

 

As always, Louie sends his pawsome love!

    

 

Did you know the book, Love Like Louie, has a discussion guide to help middle-school children form book clubs and talk about how they’re being treated and how they treat others? The questions are easy to answer and allow children to not only share their feelings but the guide provides action steps to make a change in their behavior!

Love Like Louie is endorsed by Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The New One Minute Manager® and Servant Leadership in Action:  

“I love this book because it’s all about the power of love–the love between a little girl and a skinny stray dog named Louie. Love Like Louie is a wonderful book with lessons for kids, for adults, for everybody who believes that love really can conquer all.”

Click here to order a copy (or two) for your middle-grade child…they’ll love the story!

 

Contact us:

Info@louiveloves.me

 

 

Look Beyond Failure and Rejection

 

Well, we certainly had an interesting adventure. Louie failed miserably during a hospital visitation assessment. As we drove home, I observed him in the back seat of the car. Looking at that little face, I had to ask myself…which one of us truly failed?

Read More…

 

 

 

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Stop bullying 🚫 Start talking 🗣

Did you know the book, Love Like Louie, has a discussion guide to help middle-school children form book clubs and talk about how they’re being treated and how they treat others? The questions are easy to answer and allow children to not only share their feelings but the guide provides action steps to make a change in their behavior!

Love Like Louie is endorsed by Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The New One Minute Manager® and Servant Leadership in Action:  

“I love this book because it’s all about the power of love–the love between a little girl and a skinny stray dog named Louie. Love Like Louie is a wonderful book with lessons for kids, for adults, for everybody who believes that love really can conquer all.”                          

Click here to order a copy (or two) for your middle-grade child…they’ll love the story!

We’re Back With Something New!

New Year, New Lou!

We hope this year is off to a great start. We’re excited to share our 2019 news with you.

First, we’ve changed the name of our blog to Lead Like Louie, which coincides with our books, Love Like Louie and soon-to-be released, Lead Like Louie.

Also, we’re pleased to announce that Louie has gone big-time. Not to worry-he’s still the same lovable pup with lots of “character.” But we’ve joined forces with The LeadChange Group. Lead Change is a leadership media destination with a unique editorial focus on driving change within organizations, teams, and individuals.

This month, Lead Like Louie discusses how leaders send mixed signals (of course that never happens here). Click here to read our new blog.

Let us know what you think. And stay tuned for more exciting news about our new soon-to-be released book, Lead Like Louie!

As always, Louie sends his love!

 

 

COMING SOON…

Everyone Could Use a Little Love Right Now…

And we believe Louie has just the LOVE the world needs.
What are we excited about? Take a look:
  1. Tuesday, Oct. 23, Love Like Louie makes its official debut. To kick off this exciting news, we are scheduled that morning (10/23) for an interview with WXIX, Channel 19 at approximately 10:10 AM. And YES! Louie will be there with me.
  2. The Love Like Louie paperback and kindle version will be available on Amazon!
  3. A press release announcing the news of Love Like Louie went out Monday (10/15) of this week. Click here to read the press release.
  4. You’re invited to our first book signing (see details below). We hope you can attend and celebrate with us.

Thank you for your continued love and support. We are excited to share this journey with you.

Danise, Evi, and Louie!  

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BOOK SIGNING EVENT
Meet The Authors

 

Where: Wyoming Fine Arts Center
322 Wyoming Avenue, Wyoming, OH 45215
The Paul Bartel Ballroom

When: Tuesday, October 30 from 5:30 – 7:00 PM (Come and go as you please or stay a while).

Why: Because we love you!

Details: The grandmother and granddaughter duo, Danise DiStasi and Evi Sobb, will be sharing the story behind the book Love Like Louie. Middle-grade children will relate to Emi, the main character, as Danise and Evi unfold the heartwarming tale of a girl and a lost dog and the character-do-over they both experience thanks to the power of love.

Light hors d’oeuvres will be served and books will be available to purchase.

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In the midst of joy…there is grief!

I could not let this blog go out without a tribute to a dear friend. Louie’s best friend, Mick, passed this weekend due to complications with a heart condition. Our hearts are broken and his mom is still processing life without Mick.

We have many fond memories but one, in particular, stands out. Mick, who had enough of Louie nipping at his legs, gave Lou a quick roll over on his back. Louie promptly turned to stand upright on all four but was clearly miffed. He snarled and pranced off, putting an end to playtime. By the next time he saw Mick, all was forgiven and they were quickly buddies again. Oh, that we would be so quick to forgive.

I could always tell when Louie saw “Mickers” outside. Louie would give several short quick barks in a row, reserved only for his friend, Mick, and it was their own sort of communication. I’d looked out and sure enough, Mick was outside. Often Mick would stand in our front yard looking for his pal, Louie.

Mick will be missed in our neighborhood, more than words could ever depict, and I am glad we had the time we did with him.  One thing is sure, Louie will forever miss his pal as he stares out the window wishing for one last romp in the backyard, and saddened he didn’t have a chance to say goodbye.

 

 

Walk with Confidence

I’ve noticed something a bit different lately about Louie, my rescue pup. He really enjoys it when we walk side by side during our walks. What’s different about that, you might ask?

He’s always enjoyed our time together and is usually all over the place when we walk. To get him to walk right next to me (as we’ve been taught during dog training), I usually have to make him heel. What’s different now is that he heels without me giving the command. Now he walks right next to me, many times for the entire walk, enjoying every step. It’s like we’re BFFs just hanging out. Well, maybe we are, but this change in our walks together gives me paws to think about leadership.

Louie walks next to me with confidence and joy because I, his leader, am walking with confidence and joy. This time last year I was still recuperating from a terrible accident. And, needless to say, this winter, though I was out walking, I walked with extreme caution. Now that the weather is turning warmer, there’s a bit more spring in my step and I am back to walking confidently and fast. And Louie is reaping the benefits.

When I say, “Leader, you must walk with confidence,” it may conjure up a lot of different thoughts and feelings about leadership. Many leaders walk with confidence because of pride issues, others put on airs and act like they’re confident. I believe the leaders who truly are confident provide a safe place for employees to flourish. Those leaders are confident not in their own abilities but in the abilities and strengths of those they lead. They can walk with confidence because they have a team around them they believe in, one they have encouraged and affirmed, and they work well together.

Walking with confidence is not about you, it is about those you lead, those you’ve empowered to be who they were created to be. It’s not about you puffing yourself up, it’s about those who choose to follow you and the confidence they have in you to be an excellent leader. Take the challenge and walk with confidence, but be sure it is because of the outward focus you have on the strengths and skills of others on your team.

As for Louie, well, I’m pretty sure if he were writing this it would be all about his confidence and how he walks next to me to make sure I am protected. Way to go, Louie! Such a good boy!

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Louie had to say goodbye to his cousin, Perry, a couple of weeks ago. We’re so glad we had time to cuddle that sweet boy the week before. Mark, Agnes, Bernadette and Christian and all the DiStasi kids will miss him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTACT: danise@di-advisors.com

 

The Cone of Shame and the Need to Adapt

In the last Louie’s Leadership blog, I shared the episode of Louie, my adopted pup, having surgery to remove a growth on his paw. It was a pretty quick decision, with some uncertainty about what the growth was and how he would handle the recuperation period.

He survived the surgery well, and the growth was a papilloma, a wart. The biggest issue we had was keeping him away from the stitches. Louie is like Houdini; he can get out of any bandage or covering that I put on him to prevent him from chewing on his paw. I was amazed at how many times I found his bandage on the floor somewhere.

LIFE’S ADJUSTMENTS

We came home with a very nice, pliable, see-through cone that was to be placed over his head to keep him from chewing his stitches. I was hesitant to use it because of the look he gave me when I tried to put it on him. First, it was a look of defiance (gee, I’ve never seen that one before), and then he’d look as though I was trying to kill him. And finally, I’d get the puppy dog big brown eyes that captured my heart the very first time I met him.

I attached his collar and slid the cone over his head, stating in a serious, parental tone, “This is for your own good, buddy.” He hated it! And he was mad at me. He decided the best thing he could do was trot out of the room and go to his happy place to look out the window and be away from me. Except he ran into the doorframe and stopped. He looked back at me with a look of “Are you kidding me?” Then he set himself back on track, maneuvered the cone to clear the doorframe, and walked out of the room.

Next, he hit the doorframe going into the room with a view. Again, he stopped, looked back at me, and shook his head. Again, he set himself back on track and maneuvered the cone so he could walk into the room, clearing the doorframe. I could hear him trying to jump up on the seat to look out the window, but because the cone got in the way, he fell back down. He tried again, missed again, and fell back down.

I resisted the urge to jump in and help. I knew he could do it; he just needed to adjust himself a bit to clear the seat. And so he did, finally, and then positioned himself as close to the window as possible so that everyone could see him and would feel sorry for him. And they did.

LESSONS LEARNED

I learned a few valuable leadership lessons thanks to the cone of shame:

  • As tough as it was for him to wear, it helped in the healing process.
  • In order to achieve a goal (look out the window), he had to make several adjustments and think outside the “cone.”
  • As a leader, you can’t always jump in to rescue someone. They have to learn things for themselves, as tough as it is to watch them fall.
  • Louie learned a few new things; like how to eat his food with the cone, even though he looked like a vacuum cleaner as he leaned over his bowl and inhaled.
  • He figured out pretty quickly that he was good at tipping the water bowl over.
  • There was no need for me to walk around calling the contraption on his head the cone of shame. Well, actually, that’s a lie—he hated it and no doubt, was ashamed to wear it!
  • The less opportunity he had to bother his stitches, the faster he healed and the longer the cone stayed off. For Louie, this meant that he felt better, and was back to taking walks and playing with his pals.

Louie soaked in the attention for as long as he could. As time passed and his stitches were removed, I realized the overarching lesson of this entire experience. While we must take time to heal from some of life’s tough lessons, deep down inside, we know we can adjust and adapt. And in that perseverance, we may actually learn to enjoy life more.

 

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Thank you, Eastside Rotary, for inviting us to speak to your fabulous members!

 

Every year, March 20, we celebrate Louie! While we’re not sure of his actual birthday, we decided the first day of spring was a perfect day to celebrate his new life! Louie is somewhere between 5-6 years of age. Celebrate with us and wish this little guy a happy birthday! Thank you!

 

 

Relax, Lou! There Are Plenty Of Moles To Go Around.

For some reason, this winter has made the ground in our neighborhood very susceptible to moles. You can’t walk in a grassy area without walking over a tunnel dug underground by a mole. And of course, Louie, my adopted pup, is keenly aware of his nemeses lurking just under the surface everywhere he steps.

As we were enjoying one of the unseasonably warm days recently, I noticed Louie had a little extra spring in his step. He was ready to pounce at any given time to expose a mole—or several, if need be. After all, this is what he was created for, and it was his duty to rid our community of as many moles as he could. His fans were counting on him to fulfill his calling.

And pounce he did—several times, in fact—and chased away one or two of the little critters. As we got closer to our home, he found a mound that was especially inviting. He dug and dug and snorted and pulled away clumps of grass with his mouth, and nothing was going to stop him from his responsibility.

Then along came Louie’s friend, Mick—his Goldendoodle pal from across the street. Louie pulled his head out of the dirt and ran over to play with Mick. Then Mac came along, and the three of them jumped and played; it seemed the role of the mighty mole hunter was all but forgotten. That is until Mick got a little too close to the molehill and Louie gave him a firm warning. “That’s MY molehill, buddy,” Louie seemed to snarl. Then Mac stepped a little too close to the molehill, and Louie had all he could take. He made it clear he did not want anyone stepping any closer to the molehill because he had put so much work into digging that hole and possibly finding his treasure.

The humans laughed and shrugged it off as one of his many quirky behaviors. Once Mick and Mac left, Louie went back to digging, clearly not willing to share the findings, should any be uncovered.

As I pulled him away to finish our walk, I shook my head at how possessive and territorial he can be sometimes. I mean, to snarl at his friends just because they were a little too close to the molehill he was working on so diligently? And yet, this gave me great pause. Isn’t that just like us regarding our businesses?

Many people in business today are no different than Louie. They safeguard their information like a child who wraps his arms around his dinner plate making sure no one in the family has an opportunity to steal his food. I do understand the delicate balance of sharing and yet maintaining the quality of intellectual property, but many people, especially in the business-consulting circle, believe they have the market cornered when it comes to their particular information and design.

I have great news! There is nothing new under the sun, and there is plenty of business to go around. While cooperation is essential for teams within organizations, how well do you collaborate with other businesses? I have been blessed with excellent collaborative partnerships throughout the years and have found that working together is much better than competing against one another (I know, competition is good to a certain point).

What I have learned through collaboration is the following:

  1. I have strengths and skill sets others may not have and vice versa. Combined, we make a strong team and will work on one or two projects together to test the water.
  2. I have business contacts others may not have and vice versa. We don’t need to share every contact, but we may find some in common and others that we may simply provide an introduction to.
  3. I learn so much more and provide such a greater service to my clients from brainstorming with others who are also in the same business I am in.

I’ve enjoyed learning from the best: Lynne Ruhl (Perfect10 Corporate Cultures), T. D. Hughes (former CEO and chair of the board of LaRosa’s), Bob Pautke (LEAD Clermont and SOAR Consultancy) and Ken Blanchard (author of The One Minute Manager).

I am still in partnership with The Ken Blanchard Companies and enjoy maintaining a connection with Ken and meeting with Michelle Shone (business development agent, The Ken Blanchard Companies) on a regular basis. I learned a valuable lesson from Ken many years ago. When he shares the wisdom he’s learned from someone else, he always gives that person credit and honors his or her name and calling in life by doing so. He has done this for the 18 years I have known him, and he still does it today.

I know all too many people who take credit for work, material, and ideas they had nothing to do with bringing to fruition. Yet, they never give people the proper credit and are perfectly happy with allowing people to believe they are the originators. This is stealing, not collaboration. And it fosters a sense of insecurity and negative response, exactly the way Louie behaved.

Although it would have taken me awhile to get Louie to understand that had Mick and Mac joined in the hunt for the mole, the three of them might have been successful in finding one or two moles. Instead, we have a big hole in the ground, a very messy dog, and no mole.

Look for ways to collaborate with others, even those who may seem to be fishing in the same pond as you. It will foster a sense of cooperation and accomplishment—and you may learn a thing or two. Just remember to give proper credit where credit is due.

 

I could not resist adding a few pictures of my favorite girls with their hero, Fiona the Hippo

 

Re-establishing Who’s Alpha–And It’s Not Louie

Louie has slipped back into some of his old bad behaviors. He does not want any other dog to enter into our home. And he’s not too fond of humans walking in either, but he tolerates them. This behavior is displayed only in my home and it wears on me.

But then it occurred to me. I have been lax in my being a consistent Alpha to Louie. You see, 90% of the time, Louie is a very well-behaved dog, and he minds well. And for this reason, I have let some little bad behaviors slip through the crack. This creates a chain effect of Louie thinking he can get by with those bad behaviors; getting on the furniture, getting into the trash, getting on the beds. Because he sometimes gets by with that behavior and other times not, this causes confusion for Louie. And when he’s confused, he operates in fear. It’s my fault that Louie is confused and feels the need to be territorial and protective.

One of the toughest principles for me to grasp over the years since Louie first came to live with me was how to be the Alpha in Louie’s “pack,” and my trainer was clear that I was a weak Alpha. My lack of strong leadership confused Louie, forcing him into the position of having to step up and lead, and that issue still exists today.

Before Louie and I found each other, I never gave much thought to asserting my role as Alpha Dog. Consequently, my dogs assumed that role, and I let them. It didn’t seem to matter because they were small and harmless. And by the time I got home after a long day at work, I was tired of being Alpha, so I let them boss me around. But that approach doesn’t work for Louie, and it does not work for people

There is so much that goes into being a good Alpha; being consistent, providing safety, setting appropriate boundaries, giving genuine and abundant praise, and offering a necessary correction. Again, all of those things must be rooted in trust and undergirded by love.

I remember back four years ago when the trainer first met us, Louie behaved very badly, and I was at my wit’s end. The trainer described my body language as defeated. Louie responded to this with fear and confusion. The words that moved me off the dime were, “I’ve seen you do leadership seminars, now you’ve got to do what you do in those workshops. Exude confidence. He needs reassurance that you know what you’re doing.”

Really? For my dog? I had made the common mistake of assuming that he would instinctively know that I’m the boss – simply because I’m the human, I’m larger than he, and I think more “knowledgeable.” The trainer taught me that it is about my level of confidence in where I’m going and what needs to be accomplished. That confidence is in knowing what’s best for Louie, giving him firm direction, and drawing out his very best behavior.

As leaders, our assumptions about others and situations around us unintentionally confuse our team. We have expectations that are not always clearly communicated, and then when not met, cause disappointment on our part and confusion on the part of others. Ken Blanchard often refers to this as seagull management, meaning a manager who only interacts with employees when a problem arises. This style of leadership involves hasty decisions about things of which they have little understanding, resulting in messy situations for others to clean up.

Being a strong leader is about so much more than claiming an impressive title, wearing expensive clothes and appearing important. It is about:

  • Owning the leadership role we’ve been given
  • Resisting the urge to react out of our own fears and insecurities
  • Addressing problems before we lose our cool
  • Effectively communicating the vision and seeking to understand our team

Dogs and people need a humble leader, not a bossy dictator. I’ve committed to leading with intentionality, clear vision and goals. I encourage you to do the same – whether you’re leading canines or humans.

I am happy to say I have assumed my role as Alpha of the house. Louie needs and desires my approval much more than he wants to be alpha, and consequently, Louie is a much happier pup. I’ve had to wrestle him to the ground once or twice to make him understand submission, a method I do NOT recommend for your team. But it is clear that he understands and appreciates my love and leadership. And I now know the value of being consistent in my leadership role.

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