Leadership Lessons From Santa
1. Santa Knows The Power Of Positive Psychology
While all the others in the team were almost writing Rudolph off and knocking him:
“All of the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names, They never let poor
Rudolph play in any Reindeer games”
Santa looked for the strengths in Rudolph; he looked for what was good, what was right. What Rudolph could do; how he could contribute, how he could gain the acceptance of his fellow team members.
In fact like all great leaders, Santa focused on developing the leaders around him and giving them their own platforms of greatness, as the circumstances of the environment changed.
“Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say: Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won’t you guide my sleigh tonight (be the leader)”
“Then all the Reindeer loved him and they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer, You’ll go down in history!
2. Santa Knows The Power Of An External Deadline
No excuses. No rationalization, no competitor forces, interest rate rises, bad weather, or whatever. The presents must be made and ready to be loaded on the sleigh and delivered by Christmas Day; every time, every year, without fail. Very little will happen without the power of an external deadline.
Or another way of saying this is a lot may not be happening in your business because your deadlines are internal which means they can be changed. Not Santa’s.
Santa Knows Positive Thinking
Santa Knows Deadlines
Santa Knows How to Build Cultures
Santa knows it’s more than the presents
Santa Builds Teams
Santa is a marketer
Santa Doesn't Take Himself Seriously
Santa Knows Messaging
3. Santa Knows The Power Of Symbols & Rituals To Build Cultures
Talk about rituals and symbols. The red outfit, the sack, the Christmas Tree, the Angel on the top of the tree, the Christmas lights, the leaving something for Santa to eat and drink, the carrots for the reindeer, the writing of a list, the stockings, pillow slips at the end of the bed, the sitting on Santa’s knee, the carols. The list goes on and on, and once again, it goes on and on every year.
What about your business? Do you have consistent rituals (meetings, events, celebrations) and symbols to which people attribute meaning (the type of sleigh you drive, whether you dress up in a red outfit or a suit, whether you give the Rudolphs of this world a chance to shine or not).
Reindeer sleigh, come our way HO HO HO, cherry nose Cap on head, suit that's red Special night, beard that's white Must be Santa Must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Claus.
4. Santa Knows It’s More Than Just The Presents
Imagine if all that happened on Christmas morning, was that you woke up and there were presents at the foot of your bed. No Santa, no fanfare, no build up, no drama, no delicious anticipation.
“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”
On no! You see Santa really gets it. He understands that great leadership is about moving hearts and minds (transformational) not just about moving presents around the world (transactional).
It’s about making an emotional connection with the little and big kids of the world (your team); not just giving them presents (pay, benefits, the job itself); Loading the Sleigh.
5. Santa Knows The Power Of Team
Behind every great leader is a great team. There is no way Santa could get it all done by himself. He knows he’s just the front man for something so much bigger.
Without those elves beavering away all year making the presents; Santa just couldn't exist.
He gets diversity. Without his little helpers and all the reindeer, he could not accomplish his mission. Yet Santa gets it. Once again like all great leaders, he knows, no one makes it on their own.
6. Santa Knows Every Great Leader Has To Be A Great Marketer
The guy's unbelievable! Just look at how he applied some vital marketing techniques to build his brand, including:
Customers for life, that’s right he knows that from your first Christmas onwards, he will have you for life.
He’s number one in his category. Yeah, the Easter Bunny is great, and cartoon characters will come and go, but nothing beats Santa.
He consistently uses the same red and white colors to drive home the brand; the purity of white and the redness of emotion.
It’s a scalable, repeatable, consistent franchise business model. God only knows how many Santa’s there are all over the world.
His pre-sales strategy is to die for. I mean the hype, the build up, the parties, the anticipation. How could you not have him come to your place?
“You'd better watch out! You'd better not cry! You'd better not pout!
I'm telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town. He's making a list,
and checking it twice. He's going to find out who's been naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town”.
7. Santa Knows Not To Take Himself Too Seriously
No one could ever accuse Santa of not taking his work seriously. I mean his work ethic is unbelievable. You think you've got a lot of people depending on you, wanting something from you.
You think you've got demands.
Well there’s absolutely nothing compared to Santa’s international demands.
And yet look at him. He’s always smiling, he’s always happy, always jolly.
Yes, he takes his work seriously but himself very lightly.
8. Santa Knows Consistent Short Messages Drive Success
It’s the same every year;
Santa’s figured out his values. He knows what he stands for | Laughter and Frivolity. He then delivers the same message, linked to those values, again and again every year, without fail.
“Ho Ho Ho !”
Special Links We Like
Ending Hunger: www.heifer.org
Making a Difference: www.seeyourimpact.org
Happy Holidays 2013
Borrowed from the Marquette Advisors Christmas Message | www.marquetteadvisor.com