Get a “Big Dog Attitude”

One evening I was in my family room and heard a commotion in my back yard, so walked outside and stood on my deck to see what the fuss was.  I looked in my neighbor’s yard and saw a little “hot dog-dog” barking at my neighbor’s house, there was no one there; he was just barking at the house, odd behavior from the funny little mutt.

Then the little dog ran across my yard – right in front of me, within a couple feet of me – still barking mind you, and started towards my other neighbor’s house.  I then yelled at the dog to hush up and would you believe this little near-sighted dog that was no bigger than a loaf of bread, made a bee line toward me in an attempt to stake his territory?

I stared at the dog with amazement.  His brazen attitude defied his limited stature.  He didn’t care one iota about how much bigger I was than him, he was serving notice, “I’m here, stand up and take notice!”

While this little dog got on my nerves and I wanted to give him “what for,” I had to admire his confidence. This dog’s attitude was not that of 12 pound dog, it was that of a Big Dog. There are times, especially if you are the underdog or part of a smaller company that a Big Dog attitude is exactly what you need.

I’m not suggesting that you go around barking in the neighborhood…

…but passively sitting by while the competition, whose  only selling point is, “We’re really big!” cleans your proverbial clock or runs rough shod over you, well, that just ain’t right.  This is the time to get your hackles up, show your teeth, and assume the Big Dog stance.

Throughout my career, I have spent nearly all my time with smaller companies.  These companies though smaller, were (are) well-respected and in many cases leaders in their respective fields.  On more than one occasion, my colleagues and I have gone head-to-head with much larger companies.  These firms love to taut the size of their company – ignoring the issue, notably; can you solve the client’s pain?  We can. And we’re not afraid to say as much.

Just because you are not the biggest company or you don’t have offices throughout the solar system, don’t back down and don’t be intimidated!  Be confident in your knowledge, your experience, and the support of the colleagues in your office.

You know your business and you know that you are part of a great team, don’t act sheepish (or sheep dogish), don’t back down; hell, get an attitude, a big dog attitude!

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