Leadership Lessons from Santa Claus

The end of the year can be a challenging time for leaders. We’re busy doing a check and balance on what was accomplished during the past year and working to focus our teams to do even better next year. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can be easy to get lost in the minutiae of it all. Then we visit the mall and see the smiling faces of little children as they spill their hopes and dreams to the jolly old man in the big red suit.

No matter how old you are, Santa Claus can put a sparkle in your eyes too. He has some amazing leadership traits that we should all pay attention to.

Santa inspires. Good leaders bring out the best in people. They have an innate ability to engage people in their vision and get them to follow the same path they are taking. They are likeable, consistent, and able to encourage people to achieve great things. Are your team members inspired by you?

Santa has a clear purpose and goals. Good leaders can describe the end game and will hold people accountable for the outcomes. They assign the right tasks to the right people and leverage the strengths of each team member to achieve the desired goal. Do your team members know what the end game is and how to get there?

Santa is innovative. When an obstacle appears, good leaders find a way to overcome them. That often means bucking the past and taking the risk to try something totally new that’s never been tried before. Do you stretch the boundaries or play it safe?

Santa is believable. Over time, millions of people have put their faith in Santa — even Virginia. Good leaders do the right things consistently. Do your team members believe in you?

What would you add to this list? Please leave a comment.

Denise O'Berry

Denise O’Berry — aka the Team Doc — has been working with teams and team leadership in the public, non profit and private sectors for over twenty years. She gets a lot of joy from working with teams and their leadership to help them improve and work through team issues. Not only does her advice come from the heart, it comes from years of experience working as a team member, team leader, manager and owner of her own company. She has truly walked in your shoes and offers help so you can be a better team leader. You can find more advice from Denise at her website askteamdoc and don't forget to follow her on Twitter @askteamdoc.

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