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Susquehanna Life

A New Way of Looking at Leadership

Oct 13, 2014 07:46PM ● By Erica Shames
Caz Russell, of Montandon Pennsylvania, believes that a mentoring relationship is one of the most beneficial. Since retiring from PPL, he has embarked on a new career as an inspirational speaker, hosting interactive workshops on mentoring using his Chocolate Labrador Chili. 

 Caz elaborates, “Dogs respond very well to kindness and when you give them positive reinforcement when they do a good job, just as people like to be praised when they do something good.”  Kindness is, according to Caz, one of the most important skills for a leader.

A leader should practice commitment, focus, patience and forgiveness, Caz believes. He demonstrates that commitment by being dedicated to Chili’s training and by helping her to become the best dog she can be. That is transferable in any situation, but especially within a mentoring relationship, he believes. To succeed, both parties have to be committed to themselves but also to the other individual. 

The most crucial activity for a leader is to take action towards their goals. Caz uses Chili as an example of how he did just that. He didn’t know how to train a dog, but after consulting with a mentor and reading books, he learned how to be a trainer—one who could be committed, patient and kind to his dog. These are skills he not only uses in his own life and relationships, but ones he teaches and encourages when he hosts assemblies and seminars at schools and workplaces. 

Caz has always wanted to inspire and teach people. “If I’m always championing the value of others,” he shares, “if I’m always looking out for the best for them, it builds a win-win situation. I want those around me to succeed and if I can help them succeed, then I succeed also.” 
Caz offers four workshops for professional and student audiences: Leadership is a Choice; The Power of Communication; Shaping Our Safety Culture; and Preventing Errors in the Workplace, all of which are designed to enable leadership qualities and enhance the workplace environment. More information is at or (570) 809-2493.

—Chelsea Ritter

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