The parallels between a team of dogs pulling a sled towards a destination and a team of people working together towards a common goal are profound. The more we learn about running dogs combined with the more we learn about working together with other people, the more we can see these parallels come alive.
Imagine a team of 16 individuals all tied together with lines and harness, pulling a load down a bumpy trail, headed towards a destination. When all of these individuals are in line with the same motivation despite their differences, working hard to achieve their goal, it is a beautiful thing to be a part of and to watch come alive. Wether with a team of dogs, or with a team of people, it is one of life’s greatest joys to experience team work coming alive.

A group of individuals, working together as one is a beautiful thin

Before a team can come alive, there first has to be a leader. In the dog mushing world, this is the musher. The musher is the alpha dog, the true leader of the pack. The one that all the team members(dogs) look to for encouragement, praise, rewards and sometimes, correction. The leader has to be inspired with a vision and a purpose for the mission at hand. And when this leader succeeds at communicating this vision to the team members , the unity of musher and dogs starts to come alive and the speed starts to pick up, what an awesome experience this is!

A wise leader also understands that his or her team members are individuals, all with a different skill set and personality. The leader of the group needs to identify when a team member is excelling in a particular role in the team layout, same for dogs and humans. Some dogs just want to run at the front and thrive off of seeing whats around the next corner, while some dogs are more comfortable following along being satisfied with just doing the very important hard work of digging in and pulling the load. Both dogs are crucial to the teams success and without both, the team will not go far without problems. A dog team is a constant flow of moving dogs in and out of the various team positions in and effort to achieve team harmony and to maximize team efficiency. When all the team members, both dogs and humans, are set up for success by being in the position that they can excel at, travel speed will increase and the destination will be realized in the shortest amount of time, and everyone is a winner because of it.

You know your leading well when your team members are loving their role in the team and are motivated to give their greatest efforts.