Saturday, December 23, 2006

Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus

It's not easy being Santa Claus!
In a recent conversation with Santa (he was following up on a lost order) the jovial fellow shared a few thoughts with me. He had some very good advice for those in a leadership role in any organization.

"Believe you me, having to smile and be jolly every day when you're wearing the same thick, hot, red-wool suit (that itches like crazy) is no picnic."

"I am after, after all, running a business here. I'm a boss. I've got responsibilities - both to the gift-getters and the gift-makers. There are workers to lead, letters to read, orders to fill, processes to manage, stuff to buy, stuff to make, standards to maintain, new technolgies to adopt, skills to develop, elf problems to solve, and reindeer droppings to scoop (although I delegate that one). Trust me, I've got some big and not-always-easy-fitting boots to fill!"

How to get BIG things done in YOUR workshop all year long!

1. Build a wonderful workshop!

  • Make the MISSION the MAIN THING
  • Focus on your PEOPLE as well as your purpose
  • Let VALUES be your guide

2. Choose your reindeer wisely!

  • Hire TOUGH so you can manage EASY
  • PROMOTE the right ones....for the right reasons
  • Go for the DIVERSITY advantage

3. Make a list and check it twice!

  • PLAN your work
  • WORK your plan
  • Make the MOST of what you have

4. Listen to the Elves!

  • OPEN your ears to participation
  • PAY ATTENTION to how you're percieved
  • Walk awhile in THEIR shoes

5. Get beyond the red wagons!

  • Help everyone accept the reality of CHANGE
  • Remember: The CUSTOMER is really in charge
  • TEACH "The Business" of the Business

6. Share the Milk and Cookies!

  • Help them see the difference THEY make
  • DO RIGHT by those who do right
  • Expand the reinforcement POSSIBILITIES

7. Find out who's naughty and nice!

  • Confront performance problems...EARLY
  • COACH "The Majority in the Middle"
  • DON'T forget "The Super Stars"

8. Be Good for Goodness Sake!

  • Set the EXAMPLE
  • Establish GUIDELINES and accountability
  • Remember that EVERYTHING counts

Never forget that getting big things done all year long isn't about magic. It's about Leadership!

There wasn't space to share all of my conversation but you can read more from Santa and David Cottrell here!

Merry Christmas!

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