As a kid I attended a tough inner city secondary school. Wilson, my classmate, was into art and poetry. He was extremely sensitive and easily hurt; no one took much notice of Wilson. Jackson was a bully, totally unpredictable with a tendency to kick and punch others for no apparent reason. The only kids who followed Jackson were as unhinged as he was.
Tim was a good foot taller than any of us and strong as an ox. No one messed with Tim but he was a loner and did his own thing ignoring the mayhem going on around him.
Kramer and his pals were into shoplifting and frequently in trouble with the police. We kept our distance.
Mitchell and Peterson were swats who loved science, chemistry and mathematics and were generally considered to be nerds.
Tom McGee was different. Despite being tough and clever he was neither a bully nor a geek. He stopped more fights than he started and in six years I never saw him lose his temper.
Whenever McGee organised activities we followed. The games were always competitive and fair. Tom did not suffer fools gladly. You knew you were safe following Tom but retribution for breaking rules came quick and decisive.
If kids from the school across the park turned up looking for trouble McGee would deal with them. Sometimes by fighting but often a challenge was all that was needed.
Tom Mc Gee became the most respected head boy in the school’s history. His leadership kept a generation of us kids safe from trouble.
If you want to be Pack Leader you must learn to be like Tom McGee. Tough, consistent and fair.
No dog will follow a weak, unpredictable or unbalanced leader.
Only humans do that.
(NB: All the above names are fictitious)