By | Accountability Matters

Session one: Always Start with Self

We should have nothing short than a ruthless approach to our self-talk and how we compare ourselves to others.

Daniel has met many celebrities in his life – some of them, human, some canine.  He has never once spoken down about himself after meeting someone famous or compared himself to others.  This is the mindset we seek to recognize ourselves more effectively.

Session two: Recognition of Others

Have you ever seen a dog treat someone better because of their status and/or fame?  The answer is, of course, no.

In my book The Dog Ate My Homework, or did He?, I tell a story of my grandfather (The Chief), and how he taught us many times about truly respecting everyone for who they are and what they do.  In a world where we strive for equal rights, my grandfather and our loving canine companions can lead the way with examples.

Session three: Dog Training

There are many philosophies on dog training, but the one that shows the most success is positive reinforcement.

Consider the number of times you catch someone doing something right, as opposed to the number of times you find an error in their ways and correct them for it.   If we want to look towards a more peaceful and productive world, we should tip the scales toward a positive reinforcement of what others are doing right.

What Do We Reflect

By | Accountability Matters
What Do We Reflect

Session one: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Consider how you reflect back from those comical mirrors that distort our face and our bodies. This is a reality that we must be aware of.

It is important for the accountable individual to reflect a consistent and noble image in all walks of life and at the same time remain true to yourself.  My brother, Fritz, growing up taught me that regardless of the situation you should reflect to others a positive image that especially focuses on our integrity.

Session two: Leadership Reflection

Most important thing to understand is at many points in life we are all looked on  as leaders and an example for others.

There are many things that dogs cannot do and some of them we should look to adopt in our life on a consistent basis.  One is to never say the word “can’t” and the other is to never complain about anything regardless of the circumstance.  The accountable individual embraces this.

Session three: Reflective Effort

The accountable individual never comprises effort at any time using the theory “why does it matter”.

Be more observant of how dogs go about every task in life, whether it is greeting you at the door, playing with a toy or going on a walk there effort never drops below 100%.  This is the mentality of an accountable individual that will cause them to have peace in their heart at all times.

Conflict Resolution

By | Accountability Matters
Conflict Resolution

Session one: Canine Conflict Counseling

There is no inspiration like making a comparison on how humans settle a conflict versus the much more effective way canines do as they arrive at a peaceful place almost every time.

Spartacus and Daniel teach us that there 3-point plan on settling a conflict can be put into practice by any human in any situation regardless of whether it is personal or business.  Conflicts are a part of life but they do not need to damage our precious relationships.

Session two: S.O.S.

S.O.S. is an acronym for “Save Our Ship” but we will explore an even more important acronym as it applies to conflict resolution.

When Daniel does something wrong, he has an effective way to look at you and say, “I am sorry”.  He immediately ceases’ doing what he was doing which he knows was not the best thing to do at that time.  The accountable individual knows how and when to say, “I’m sorry”.

Session three: Conflicts Build Stronger Bridges

I have watched bridges being repaired where I live in Northern New Jersey and although it takes some time, they are stronger than before.  This can happen for the accountable individual who handles conflicts effectively.

There have been several situations in my business life and through conflicts I realized that although the bridge has been repaired, it would have been a lot stronger if I had implemented Spartacus and Daniel’s 3-point plan and the S.O.S. method more effectively.  We need to realize that relationships can be even stronger than they were before once a conflict is settled effectively.

Working and Playing Well With Others

By | Accountability Matters
Working and Playing Well With Others

Session one: Teamwork

Teamwork is a subject that is spoken of often and there are many great lessons but none as good as what a dog can teach us about truly always keeping your eye on the prize.

Spartacus and Daniel are as different as two dogs can be, however, they have proven time and time again that by respecting each other’s talents and keeping your eye on the goal they can work as an effective team.  We can learn so much from dogs about putting aside our personal interests and truly working well as a team.

Session two: Personality Types

The C.A.P.S. model has always been my favorite for personality styles, however, watching the canines in my house exercise this style has brought it to a new level.

Understanding and respecting our own personality style as well as others is critical for working and playing well with others.  As Spartacus has gotten older, I have seen him flex his style when necessary.  The accountable individual recognizes changes and adapts their style as well as respects others.

Session three: Of Course, Changes Will Happen

With every passing day, changes happen in our relationships, both business and personal.  Consider how a parent/child relationship changes as the child grows older.  The accountable individual rolls effectively with these changes.

Shelby has reached a point where she is not as interested in acting as a therapy dog.  Although this change seems like a negative in some respects it has become a positive change for me as she now spends most of her time caring for my needs.  When changes take place, the accountable individual always recognizes them and looks for the positive outcomes.


By | Accountability Matters

Session one: Keep It Simple

My doxie, Greta, reminds us that communication can be simple and clear and, in her case, only when necessary.  The accountable individual has an economy of words that is used effectively.

Dogs are very effective in their communication style.  They make sure that there is nothing vague or any hidden agenda to how they communicate.  In addition, dogs do realize that words can hurt so they never use communication to bring pain or discomfort to another.

Session two: The Ultimate Two-Way Highway

Although very easy to understand, it is not easy to implement that when you are talking you cannot be listening at the same time.  Shelby has demonstrated a keen sense of listening that can inspire all of us to listen more to our loved ones.

The Internet was at one time labeled the information superhighway.  We all should realize that the accountable individual understands that we must effectively drive at a slower pace before we enter a superhighway.  Effective listening is a great way to do this.

Session three: What Is Not and Should Not Be Said

Not all communication is done using words.  Our body language, posture and facial expressions can speak very loudly.

Dogs realize that non-verbal communication can be extremely effective when used properly.  Dogs also realize that there are some phrases like “I can’t” that should never be used.  We can learn much from dogs about communication.


By | Accountability Matters

Session one:  How to sharpen yourself

Like the act of sharpening a pencil, it needs to be done often and can be painful at times.  What we need to remember is the importance of keeping ourselves sharp through all walks of life.

In a world where we have disposable pencils, it is still refreshing to know the power of a sharp pencil and the skills necessary to keep it that way.   When a pencil gets sharpened and you hear that grinding noise, you can almost feel the pain that occurs.  We, too, can experience some pain when we need to sharpen ourselves however, we must not lose sight that we also have an eraser to take away some of the mistakes we make.

Session two: Attitude is key

I will always be convinced that Daniel the Beagle was aided by a very positive attitude when he survived the gas chamber.  A positive attitude has proven to help many overcome obstacles in life.

It is easy to have a positive attitude when things are going well; on vacation, or when you are doing well financially.   The accountable individual strives to a positive attitude in every aspect of life, including when their team loses the Super Bowl or challenges come up in your work or personal life.   Seeking this consistency is what a hero like Daniel does and we can do as well.

Session three: Be Where Now?

Sometimes the simplest tasks seem to be the most difficult, hitting a baseball or sinking a basket, to name a few.  Truly focusing on the moment seems very easy, but can present a challenge.

I will always resist criticizing technology but I must say that cell phones and other advances in technology have made our ability to focus, especially in one-on-one conversations, a challenge.  Time is truly our most precious resource.  This is something universal to all of us.  Not respecting that time, and truly focusing on someone, is what we will overcome as accountable individuals that learn to “be here now”.