Running a Software Company: What My Dog Taught Me

Learning lessons of leadership from unusual places

Matt Nigh
Matt Nigh
Jan 1, 2019 · 10 min read
Image for post
Image for post

Lesson 1: Run into the danger

Image for post
Image for post
Tinkerbell’s first visit to the ocean (Outer Banks). Running into the danger…and then running away.

Lesson 2: Don’t take yourself too seriously

Image for post
Image for post
Tinkerbell enjoying the beach

Lesson 3: Reward performance and behavior

Image for post
Image for post
A beef bone from Porter Road Butcher

Lesson 4: Training is vital

Image for post
Image for post
Tinkerbell at three months old

More than 70 percent of high-retention-risk employees say they’ll have to leave their organization to advance their career.


Lesson 5: Rest is essential

Image for post
Image for post
One of Tinkerbell’s daily naps

Lesson 6: Engage your team

Image for post
Image for post
Tinkerbell enjoying a Puppucino from Starbucks

Only 33% of employees in the US are considered engaged at work.

Four steps to improving employee engagement:

To measure engagement, check out tools like Insight.

Lesson 7: Be radically transparent

Image for post
Image for post
Tinkerbell taking a nap under our bed

Lesson 8: Help your team enjoy work

Image for post
Image for post
One of Tink’s favorite toys

Lesson 9: Embrace the pack

Image for post
Image for post
Tinkerbell and Bill enjoying a car ride

Lesson 10: Encourage positive conflict

Image for post
Image for post
Tinkerbell wrestling with her brother Bill

There is a lot of content out there.

Leading Software

A publication for people that lead or aspire to lead…

Matt Nigh

Written by

Matt Nigh

Tech leader in Seattle. I write about technology, software development, leading people, and business operations. www.mattnigh.net

Leading Software

A publication for people that lead or aspire to lead technical teams

Matt Nigh

Written by

Matt Nigh

Tech leader in Seattle. I write about technology, software development, leading people, and business operations. www.mattnigh.net

Leading Software

A publication for people that lead or aspire to lead technical teams

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store