Iditarod – Some lessons take time to learn


Years ago when I was a new manager, I was subject to a corporate training event. For an interminably long six hours I had to listen to motivational talks on teamwork and people management.

Full of spunk and youthful impatience I bristled at the truisms taught by our instructor. I thought it a huge waste of time. Adding insult to injury, he made us watch a documentary on the Iditarod race.

What did dog sledding have to do with people management?

A lot, as seen in this 2019 report “The Iditarod leader’s dogs went on strike after he yelled at them” by Corinne Purtill .

Then Joey—one of 14 huskies pulling Petit’s sled—started fighting with another dog on the team. A frustrated Petit yelled at the dog. And then none of the dogs would race any further.

“I yelled at Joey, and everybody heard the yelling, and that doesn’t happen,” Petit told the Iditarod Insider website, according to the Associated Press. “And then they wouldn’t go anymore. Anywhere. So we camped here.”

It only goes to show that some lessons take longer to learn.

Ucluelet. March 2019

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