Dora the Explorer is my Hero!!!!!
Although I’m a big fan now, I must admit that I haven’t always been so positive about Dora. That’s right folks, I’m an ex-hater of the precocious little lady that brings joy to the hearts of millions of boys and girls around the world.
Before you get all fired up, let me explain…
You see, I have a six year old son whom I affectionately call “Big Man”. The Big Man and I love going to the neighborhood video store to browse the isles and pick up a movie or two. All was well until last year when something a little weird started happening…
The Big Man started asking for Dora Videos! Call me a caveman, but it made me a little nervous to see the fruit of my loin, who’s responsible for carrying on the family name, routinely passing over father friendly classics like Bob the Builder, Spiderman, Superman and Batman in favor of a cartoon made for little girls.
So I did what any good father would do…
I gave him a spanking and called the family therapist. I’m just kidding. I decided to sit down with him to watch a few episodes and see for myself what the Big Man was so excited about. Boy was I surprised when I watched the first episode. Not only was I relived that the family name was safe, but I was excited, because it was obvious to me that Dora was teaching leadership skills that could be applied in both life and business.
Leadership Is Influence
By now I’m sure you’re asking…“TC, how on earth can you get business lessons out of a Dora the Explorer cartoon”
Thanks, I’m glad you asked! The First thing I noticed was that Dora was a great leader and her team loves her! They go anywhere and do anything Dora asks them to do. John C. Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence nothing more, nothing less”, and Dora has influence!
Additionally, Dora was great at using her leadership skills to get everybody involved. That’s right, when you roll with Dora, she has a job for you! She even had a job for me and the Big Man. We had to memorize a song and be on the lookout for a sneaky fox who was trying to rob us. Dora made it fun to be on her team! How about you, if we were on your team, would it be fun? Would the work be fulfilling? Would we know want our job was and how we fit into the big picture? Or would we be standing around, frustrated, waiting for the leader to lead?
The take away is simple; people are social creatures we love to be in groups and we need each other to be fulfilled. Every group needs a leader and if you are going to be in business you have to be a group leader.
Strong leaders make it easy, fun & fulfilling for people to follow them. They know how to get team members involved and how to keep the team motivated. If you are a strong leader chances are lots of people happily follow you, on the other hand, if you are not a strong leader, you probably have trouble getting people to join your team and the ones that do join are unhappy or unmotivated.
If you want to sharpen your leadership skills, I recommend you read the book title “The 21 Indispensable Laws of Leadership: follow them, and people will follow you” by John C. Maxwell. Put the principles to work and you can be like Dora!
Leadership Is Vision
The second principle I noticed while watching Dora was less obvious but very profound. In fact, every good leader uses one…Drum roll please….Dora Uses a Map!!! That’s right, before every adventure Dora takes her team on, she looks at her map first. Do you have a map? In the business world a map is a business plan. Do you have things mapped out or are you winging it. One of my mentors once told me “Wealthy people have a plan and poor people wing it!” Which one are you? If you don’t have a plan, there are lots of good books available to help you get it together. I recommend “The E-Myth” by Michael Gerber
Leadership Is Communication
Lesson three was about people and examining how we as leaders treat those who follow us. Dora is great leader, she was always positive with her team, even when they didn’t do things right. Regardless of what her team faced during each episode Dora kept it together and her team always responded by getting the job done!! How about you? Do you keep it positive when adversity hits? Many leaders struggle with this principle. All too often, leaders beat their teams up with negative talk and then they blame the team when results are poor. Don’t let that be you. Instead, let’s be like Dora and help all our team members reach their potential by using kind positive talk even we dealing with negative situations.
If your saying to yourself; “TC the real world is not a carton, if you’re nice all the time, people will take advantage of you”. My response is simple. Kindness is not to be confused with weakness. A strong leader is skilled at correcting negative behavior with a spirit of love and kindness. Master this skill and your favor with people will be unparalleled. If your still struggling with this concept, I recommend you read the one of the all time great books on communication, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
Leadership Is Relationships
Last but not least, my new hero Dora the Explorer reminded me that is important Celebrate with your team when you accomplish a goal (big or small). Every episode after we achieved our mission, me, the Big Man, Dora and Boots would dance and sing that catchy anthem “we did it”! You should celebrate with your team as well. Not just because celebrating is fun, but because it healthy. Celebrating will help keep your team motivated and most importantly it well ensure they always feel appreciated.
Good Leaders have influence and use it to get their entire team involved
Good Leaders have a clear plan for the future of their team
Good Leaders know how to communicate effectively with their team
Good Leaders know how to build relationships with their teams
Please take action and when possible put a few of these ideas to use in your life and business.
Thanks for reading, today’s article has come to an end…”We Did IT!!!!!!