He has 364 days to strategize and produce, and one day to execute. He depends on a hard-working team of employees whom he convinced to relocate to the North Pole. He must re-skill his people annually to build the gifts that are most in demand each year. Yet despite the challenges, Santa Claus loves what he does.
How does Santa pull it off? In The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus, Eric Harvey offers actionable leadership advice delivered directly from the North Pole. You may want to start with the following three tips from the big guy in the red suit.
The Leadership Secrets of Santa ClausSimple Truths
1. Define Your Mission
Santa keeps his team motivated with a clear mission: “To bring joy to all boys and girls.” North Pole staff members know that mission, and they understand how they contribute to it.
Great leaders start with a vision. They start with the WHY – and extrapolate the HOW and WHAT from it. Leaders best engage their employees by reiterating their mission often and connecting individual job roles to a greater purpose or meaning.
Engage your employees and attract talent by defining and executing an inspiring organizational vision. Start with these reading recommendations:
Start with WhyPortfolio Read Summary
The Revelation ConversationBerrett-Koehler Publishers Read Summary
Rehumanizing LeadershipLID Publishing Read Summary
Deep PurposeHarperBusiness Read Summary
Satya Nadella: Aligning Behind a Common PurposeStanford Graduate School of Business Read Summary
Find Your WhyPortfolio Read Summary
Meaning, Inc.Profile Books Read Summary
The Purpose EffectFigure 1 Publishing Read Summary
2. Make a Plan
Being Santa Claus requires thorough planning. Santa’s consistent record of success in delivering gifts on time attests to his ability to make the most of the time, resources and expertise at hand. His to-do list includes goals and milestones that are specific and yet flexible. Santa understands that even the best thought-out plans need to be adjusted when needed – as in, “Make a list and check it twice.”
Organizations require strategic game plans that identify immediate and long-range goals, the actions needed to meet those objectives and the resources to pay for executing the plan. Monitoring the implementation of your plan allows you to adjust it.
Become an expert planner with these reading recommendations:
3. Be a Role Model
Santa’s workshop is filled with positive energy. His enthusiasm is genuine and contagious (“Ho, ho, ho!”). Santa understands: The best (and only) way of promoting the work culture you desire is to live it day by day. Santa makes it a point to recognize the positive performance of every elf and reindeer and treat everyone with respect. His positive attitude and actions reverberate across the team. By being a role model, Santa earns the buy-in and commitment of every team member.
Inspirational leaders tap into how people feel and what matters to them. Leaders who want to influence their workforce build their colleagues’ self-respect and make them reach for higher standards. Inspirational leaders influence and galvanize others. Although leaders can’t mandate inspiration, they can become its catalyst.
The Inspiration CodeAMACOM Read Summary
Work InspiredMcGraw-Hill Education Read Summary
10 Leadership Virtues for Disruptive TimesThomas Nelson Read Summary
Trust & InspireSimon & Schuster Read Summary
Beyond HappinessGrand Central Read Summary
How do you inspire others to join in? Find answers in the getAbstract Journal:
Focus on your mission, work hard – but have fun along the way: Santa’s secret to great leadership is to strike a perfect balance between determination and levity.