Now I will start by saying that yes I’m aware I watch too much Paw Patrol! With a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old both obsessed with it I am far too au fait with Ryder and his pups. All that aside, I do believe that we can learn a thing or two about business from the show (unlike Postman Pat who should have been fired for incompetence a long time ago!)
I know, I know – I can hear you asking what can Paw Patrol possibly teach us about business. I’m not saying we should all be aiming for our own lookout tower, and I do have dubious questions about how it’s all financed. But below are 5 things that we can take away from the many hours of enforced Paw Patrol watching.
1. Clear leadership
Ask anyone who’s in charge of the Paw Patrol and you’ll be told. It’s Ryder and his team of pups after all. Everyone knows that there’s a clear chain of command that is respected by all, both inside and outside of the organisation. Ryder is empowered by this clarity and in times of crisis, it creates an efficient process. Ryder’s position is so engrained that in ‘Paw Patrol: Mighty Pups’ when Ryder is taken hostage, the pups start to fall out when they have to find a new leader. The complete reliance on one person it’s always healthy, but there’s no internal politics. Everyone knows who to listen to, and who to go to for advice.
2. Defined roles and expectations
There’s no doubt that every pup knows where they fit into the organisation. I do have a question mark over the value Zuma brings, but it’s not for me to interfere! Everyone is clear on their roles, so when it comes to pulling a team together for a job it’s straight-forward. No one’s ego is hurt that they’ve been excluded. There’s no duplication.
Nobody is bitching behind other people’s backs, and the success of the team is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Is your team like that? As your team grows there will be an element of duplication to provide continuity. But how clear are your team about where they fit in and how their contribution supports the business’ success?
Ryder will go on missions to oversee and will pitch in but for the most part, he delegates the tasks clearly at the start. His team briefings are interactive (who does their graphics?), brief and balance being detailed and concise. Ryder understands his team’s strengths and empowers them to get the job done. In a later episode you find out that he trained Rubble to operate his digger, and when Rubble is injured instead of just taking over, Ryder talks Chase through using the machine. Many of us, in that situation, would have done it ourselves as “it’s easier”. In business, we need to use those around us and upskill them where possible rather than shouldering all the responsibility.
Ryder is an integral member of his community. Everyone knows him, everyone loves him! He’s connected to everyone, and always willing to help. Think about it – have you ever heard Ryder say no? Now I’m not saying that we should all say yes to everything. But where possible we should be sharing our knowledge and helping each other out. We need to remember all those sayings about “No man is an island” and apply them to our businesses. Find your community, whether that’s an in-person network or online. Then participate without expecting anything back, no hard sell, no sales pitches. Then when there’s trouble in your field guess who they’ll call? No not ghostbusters, and not Ryder but it could be you.
5. Work hard/play hard
I’m going to go out on a limb and say there’s not an episode of Paw Patrol that doesn’t end with the pups getting some form of treat. Ryder understands that to get the most out of his team they need to work hard to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Once the job is complete Ryder know that the pups need rewarding and to relax. This is an area that all of us fall down on. The working culture encourages us to work work work. Can you apply more pup treats to your business?
You’ll never watch an episode of Paw Patrol in the same way again, and maybe this has proved that I need to stop watching Paw Patrol. I truly believe that there are some clear lessons on delegation, role allocation and work/life balance that we need to start paying attention to. I’d love to hear what other lessons, business or not, you’ve learnt from kids TV!