The Bookworm Sez: Santa’s lessons on leading
The holidays couldn’t get any busier.
Between mandatory-attendance parties, decorating your home, buying gifts, wrapping them, and getting your cards out in time, your plate is full and you still have a business to run. Don’t pout — instead see how The Big Guy does it by reading “The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus” by Eric Harvey.
Imagine the logistics: tens of millions of households. Billions of toys and gifts. The biggest team of toymakers ever assembled, and eight tiny reindeer, plus back-ups. Surely, it’s enough to give any Old Elf a headache but, for hundreds of years, without fail, Santa has delivered Christmas with a personal touch.
So how does he do it?
The first thing, says Santa, is to make sure everybody — from senior reindeer all the way down to newly-hired elves — knows your business mission and its meaning. Then, keep your employees first in mind because “you can’t possibly focus on your mission without also focusing on the folks that make your mission happen.”
Hire wisely, Santa says, which is a lesson he learned the hard way: you can well imagine what a mess it is to have a Reindeer Team that’s off-kilter. If you promote from within, be sure the person is ready and able to handle the job; you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle if you do. Once you’ve got a great team, teach them to be successful, then be sure to recognize them for the great job they do for you.
Much like the Big Guy, you’ll want to make your list (plan) and check it twice (to be sure you’re staying the course). Touch base with employees often, to ensure that they’re on-track, too. On that note, pay attention to the people who work for you: both in how they perceive you and in the suggestions they might have for the job.
Help your employees to accept change, utilize “Santa’s CALM Model,” and finally, be a leader. The elves expect that from Santa and “your people expect the same of YOU!”
You’ve already dropped a few hints. Everybody knows what to get you for Christmas, and it might have something to do with your business. Even Santa knows what you need and he wraps it up here.
And while that may seem somewhat juvenile to the Scroogiest of readers, I had to admit that “The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus” offers good guidance. With humor that sometimes borders on too-cute, (co?) author Eric Harvey easily relates the business issues of the North Pole to that of, really, any workplace.
His advice can be repetitive, but it’s sound and simple enough to implement quickly; in fact, each chapter ends with quick takeaways and the book itself wraps up with checklists and final reminders. That’s a nice surprise at this busiest of times.
This particular edition of this book is a new version of an old classic, and it’s worth reading all over again. If you want a happy ho-ho-holiday at work, “The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus” will make you shout.
Terri Schlichenmeyer is the author of The Bookworm Sez, which is published in more than 200 newspapers and 50 magazines throughout the U.S. and Canada. Schlichenmeyer may be reached at [email protected].