"Al has enabled us to look at this business in a totally new way. We no longer blame our employees for our failures. We’ve learned that we have a responsibility to them and to us, to make this a more rewarding place to work. We finally have the power to take our company to the next level!"
Jim Criniti, Gen Mgr
Zoom Sewer & Drain, Inc.
Oreland, PA
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Operations Power!

Dog-gone It

The 500 pound dog in the room.

The 500 pound dog in the room is the question about whether or not to allow dogs at work.

Full disclosure. I love dogs. And my daughter made it part of her employment contract that her dog could be at work with her and her bosses agreed to it.

That said. I know there are at least two sides to this and I’m open to explore it all.

I travel to a lot of companies and I see the whole spectrum.

  1. No dogs allowed
  2. Only the owner’s dog is allowed
  3. The office staff is allowed to bring their dog

To me, all of the above is fair if the policy is discussed and made clear as to what the rules are.

Of the three scenarios above, I only have an issue with just allowing the owner to bring their dog to work. Different sets of rules for the boss and employees is not the way to be and act like you’re on the same team, in my opinion. But in the end, you’re the boss and you get to make the rules. Still, you need to make it known.

In favor of the no dogs at work policy is avoiding the need to institute policies that must be written and enforced. And if the dogs are out of control, the office can be out of control too. It can be a distraction if there’s no structure to it. And it can lower the level of professionalism if unchecked. The sound of dogs howling while you’re trying to book a call can be problematic. There are issues with dogs not playing well with other dogs and humans, so insurance issues and festering anger all come into play. Many people are allergic to dogs so what accommodation will there be for them in the workplace?

This blog had some other good reasons to pause before you install the doggy-door in your office:


Many other companies seek to bypass the whole issue by just banning all pets at work. And it’s not too hard to see why they’d like to avoid the issue. For instance, if I don’t have a dog, do I get to bring my cat, my hamster, my canary, my pet snake….you get the picture?

In favor of allowing dogs at work with solid policies that are regularly monitored is recognition that we work long hours. If we’re allowed to bring our dog to work, we don’t have to rush home to attend to them. If they’re vaccinated, house-broken and more, they can be a calming influence on the office during breaks. They can even help promote taking a walk, clearing the mind by getting some quick exercise vs. getting another donut.

Many of the progressive big corporations in America are beginning to allow dogs in the workplace because they see it as a moral boost and actually a productivity boost.

Should you wish to explore more about making your office dog friendly, here’s a great blog to help begin the process:


Work lives and our personal lives are becoming intertwined in ways that seemed unfathomable a decade or two ago. We’re so wired into our work these days that there are few among us who aren’t regularly checking emails, texts, fielding phone calls and doing homework assignments long into the night and on weekends.

The 9 to 5 workday was never in the equation for those who chose the contracting business for their trade. That has always been the constant. But nowadays, we are all more demanding and we want it now. That means those we serve also want it now. With this in mind, our lives outside of work with our families and our pets [our extended family] are getting squeezed.

Good food for discussion? I think so.

Kathy Betlem of John Betlem Heating & Cooling

Kathy talks about the challenges before Al arrived of the whole management team, mostly comprised of the Betlem family members, being on the same page. Today with Al's help, the management team is both improving their individual departments and improving the company as a whole.

» Read the full testimonial

Operations Power!

Power Tools Done Right

We’re just big boys disguised as men no matter how old we get. Not hard to find evidence to support that statement when you look at the power tools we accumulate both personally and professionally as we move along in our contracting career. Yes, I know we need it to do the work. But, we […]

» View the full post

Susan Miller of Allied Plumbing & Heating

Susan Miller shares what was going on at Allied before Al Levi worked with them and how things are going at Allied today thanks to the work they've done with Al.

» Read the full testimonial

Leadership Power!

It’s More Than What You Say and What You Do

We’ve all heard the expression, “It’s not just what you say that counts but what you do.” True but it’s only part of the whole story. As leaders at your company, you’re in the parental role. That doesn’t mean our staff members are just a bunch of kids even if it seems like they act […]

» View the full post

Tim Flynn, Winters Company

Tim Flynn Having customized manuals allows me never to go over the same thing twice, I simply refer to the manual our employee has signed for and ask if there has been a misunderstanding of the procedure, once agreed there is no misunderstanding and we move on with our lives. Hopefully the discrepancy never occurs again, but [...]

» Read the full testimonial

Staffing Power!

How is Staffing a Company like Filling a Bathtub?

When I teach Staffing Power! in seminars or in one-to-one work with clients, I share that it’s all about a never-ending approach to the following five things: Always be recruiting Always be hiring Always be orienting Always be training Always be retaining This is all about the last one….Always be retaining. So, how is staffing […]

» View the full post

If you find that you keep saying to yourself...
  • I can't seem to find and keep good people.
  • There just aren't enough hours in the day.
  • We are delivering an inconsistent level of service.
  • I feel like I'm answering the same questions over and over.
  • I spend more time as an employee than as a manager.
  • Call-backs keep me from moving on to new calls/sales.
  • We have no real system in place for training.
  • This business just isn't fun for me anymore.
then you are ready to move to the next level click here

Contact Al

Phone: (480) 205-5164
Fax: 212-202-6275
(using a coversheet)

Traditional Mail:
Appleseed Business, Inc.
c/o Al Levi
10632 N Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85254