When my dog, Seamus, was young he would gently guide the various cats we had around. He would let the first cat he ever knew, Mistletoe even sleep with him. He has always been surrounded by cats but in the last few months he has had three cats in his life.
As he has gotten rather old and senile, the cats have taken to herding him and watching over him. He can’t tell when he goes out (in a fenced in yard) that it is time to come in. Often, he will stand at the back door wanting in but even when you open the door he doesn’t have a sense that it is open. Only his cat friends are there to let him know that it is time to come in. They will cut in front of him, nuzzle their face into his face and at times walk under him to get his attention.
This role reversal reminds me of people and especially leaders. At times, we need to know when to follow and when to lead. Just because you are a leader either by position or by your talent there are times that you don’t know where to go or have the skills or knowledge to lead the way. You must be humble enough to know when to lead and when to follow and not let your ego get in the way. It’s amazing to me that by watching animals interact we can learn a little on how we should act. The next time I am leading, I hope I take the time and self-reflection to look around and realize that I might not be the person at the time to lead. I also hope, that in reverse, that if I’m following and I do have the belief that I can better lead than the person that is that I have the strength to step out in lead.