What I Learned About Leadership Fostering Feral Kittens

Over this last year, I’ve been fostering feral kittens – socializing them to be ready to go to forever homes.

I took in a pair of siblings – a male and female.

Zero-12 weeks is the best window for socializing. These two were just past that.

So, a little spicy.

I worked hard with them. I believe the less fear they have, the better the life they’ll enjoy.

It wasn’t easy. They fed off each other negatively, making it that much harder.

Yet, they learned. They knew their names and came when called.

They learned words including sit, get down, ok and eat (they came running if I asked, ‘who wants something to eat?’).

Both were harness trained, though Monkey was the real hiker.

They became cuddly – Magoo stood on his back legs to get picked up. Monkey snuggled in my armpit under the covers.

Their personalities blossomed.

Here’s the interesting thing I noticed connected to leadership.

I had to push them to get them to overcome their fears. Left on their own they made little progress.

They stayed stuck in their fear.

It made me think about leadership. About culture. About how hard you push people to grow as a leader. About creating the conditions for growth.

How do you best serve growth in your organization? How do you help people become their best selves without taking over-responsibility?

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