Every year around Christmas I take a refresher leadership course when I watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” with the earnest, good-hearted soul – George Bailey who puts so much energy into helping his neighbors in Bedford Falls. Every time I watch it, I want to be more George Bailey-like, focusing not only on building a successful business, but in being a socially minded and generous member of my community.
I don’t know if you have seen it, but Santa has released his new leadership book called. “The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus“. It was ghost written by David Cottrell, Al Lucia, and Mike Hourigan (which seems reasonable given how busy Santa is at this time of year.) Don’t let that jolly demeanor fool you, though. When it comes to hitting a deadline and managing in a complex global environment, who is better than the S-Man?
Here are just a few of the highlights:
Build Your Workshop Around Core Values. When Santa comes on December 24th, it is for many the most anticipated event in the world, symbolizing love, caring, generosity, and good will. Now these are core values likely to energize even the grumpiest elf, and most distract-able reindeer.
Make a List, and Check it Twice. There is no substitute for a meaningful plan, and you need to sweat the details. Working hard up front can help you avoid those awful December 23rd crises.
Choose Your Reindeer Wisely. You need to be selective in choosing the best and brightest (noses do count) for your team. You need them to be all moving in the same direction and at the same time, otherwise your main products or services will likely not make it where you intended. Pay special attention to your appointed team leads, they have a special role to light the way for others. If your leader has what it takes, the rest will gladly follow.
Find Out Who’s Been Naughty and Nice. You need to reinforce you core values and need to pay attention to how others are behaving. You need to be ever vigilant, watching them whether they are asleep or awake. When you make your assessment, you have to decide how it is you plan to deal with it.
Listen to the Elves. As Disney says, it’s not the magic that makes it work . . . it’s all the work that makes the magic. Your employees know what it takes, and they are the ones that can make you look like a hero or a nincompoop. It pays to listen to their suggestions and ideas.
Keep a Pipeline Open From Your Customers. Partner with the Post Office if you have to, but provide ample opportunities, making it easy for your customers to tell you precisely what it is that they want. Keep those cards and letters (and e-mails) coming!
Stay Fit. While being jolly with a big bouncy belly may be your brand image, it takes a certain dexterity and fitness to shimmy up and down chimneys all night. If you let yourself go, you may find your entire mission imperiled. Constant attention to your physical well-being can help you perform better on the job.
So, on behalf of every one at Xavier Leadership Center, we wish you all the best during this holiday season, however you choose to celebrate it. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!