Your Cat Is a Natural Boss

How to Think Like a Cat - Stephane Garnier 2018

Your Cat Is a Natural Boss

’When the cat’s away, the mice will play’


Cats are excellent managers, perfect bosses, for they keep an eye on things without really doing anything. They don’t need to yell: a look is enough to garner respect. A cat simply is, and its presence alone is sufficient to intimidate the mice.

While I was writing this book, Ziggy lay stretched out on my pile of papers, keeping a close eye on me to ensure I remained focused on the task at hand and didn’t daydream. It was no doubt largely thanks to him that the manuscript was delivered on time.

As we have already seen, being a cat at work means knowing how to delegate, that’s the main thing. Be it for the proper organisation of the tasks and the firm, or for your colleagues’ validation and autonomy. But it also means knowing how to be present, to keep an eye on things, see without being seen, and set an example.

Whether or not you are the boss, a catlike attitude is very well suited to a professional context. Take these examples:

· Don’t expend your energies unnecessarily. Ration your work and the time allocated to complete it, according to the task’s importance. (Cat says: ’Who cares about that spider? I’m not moving until a mouse comes along.’)

· Don’t bustle about just to give the impression of being snowed under. It only creates useless stress for your colleagues. (Cat says: ’Stop flailing about with your vacuum cleaner, you’re making my head spin!’)

· Be efficient when necessary. Deal with problems immediately. (Cat says: ’What do you think you’re doing, you lumbering fool? Don’t move, I’ll sort you out!’)

· Always be watchful without being noticed, in order to stay abreast of the latest news about what’s happening in the company. (Cat says: ’I know it’s you who’s tickling me with a feather. Come a little closer, then you will know!’)

· Be responsive if required. Know how to make that special effort. (Cat says: ’A mole invasion in the garden? Fine, I’ll work a double-shift! We’ll soon get them shifted!’)

· Regularly take a coffee break with colleagues to catch up on the office gossip and maintain your social relations. (Cat says: ’The kibble distributor is still full, right? So let’s break open the sardines!’)

· Don’t pretend to work. Someone will always notice. (Cat: ’I’ve visited all the checkpoints on the territory. Security’s fine. Let me sleep now!’)

· Don’t pretend to be overwhelmed, it’s often a sign of inefficiency. (Cat: ’Worry not, it’s all under control. Rrrr . . .’)

And if you’re the boss, be like your cat: always maintain a firm yet benevolent attitude, encourage with a glance, and be present.

Boss or not, when you’re at work, always give the best of yourself without talking a lot of hot air.