Do the Hard Work Up Front

We got a new puppy the day after Thanksgiving and our lives haven’t been the same since! It’s like having a brand new baby only without the diapers. And this newborn is able to run around. Sleepless nights, constant monitoring to be sure she isn’t into something that can hurt her, teaching her to go potty outside, cleaning up accidents are all things we weren’t doing Thanksgiving Day. Now it is part of our daily routine. Speaking of which, all our routines have changed. My morning routine is disrupted. My wife now has to adjust her day because of the puppy. We all make sure we spend time playing with her. We make sure when she eats, we are nearby to pet her occasionally so she gets used to that and doesn’t become protective of her food.

This isn’t our first rodeo. We’ve had new puppies before. We knew what we were in for, and did it anyway. At first they are such a novelty and so cute, it’s all ooohs and aaahs and fun. Soon it becomes work. There are times when you reminisce about when you had more freedom. This is when many people give up. Suzi was reading to me the other day about a place that rescues Golden Retrievers. I said, “Golden Retrievers! Why would they need rescuing?” They seem like such wonderful pets that I was amazed. She read on that often when people get puppies (of any breed or mix), they enjoy the newness and fun of the puppy, but don’t do the hard work of bonding and training and give up on them because it’s too much.

We’ve learned that when you do the hard work up front, you get a wonderful return on your investment. Your cute little puppy/nuisance becomes a lifelong loving companion/member of the family.

We’ve also learned the same is true of children. We adopted five children and each of them (one set of twins) were an unbelievable amount of work (don’t get me wrong, there’s always fun mixed in with the work) on the front end. We (mostly my amazing mother/wife, Suzi) devoted most of our time and energy in the early years bonding with and training our children. Now, the youngest two are 19, we don’t think about the time and energy that went into their development. We’ve been too busy enjoying them.

The same is true at work. New employees are similar to babies and puppies in a sense. Although they are much easier in many ways, doing the hard work of connecting them to the company/team and training them well on the front end will set them up for success and pay huge dividends down the road.

Have a Happy New Year!

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