Lead Like Santa

By Jeri Mae Rowley

Simply start with this list — and check it twice.
Be a legendary leader — with Santa’s advice!

Have a Great Story
Everyone wants to be part of a great story. Have a story to tell. Tell it well. Tell it so often everyone “just knows” what to expect and how to behave.
Make the Workshop a Wonderland
Make your workshop a place people look forward to working in—clean, safe, welcoming, efficient, with the right tools on hand. And don’t forget the milk and cookies!
Be Jolly
People want to work with someone who has chosen a good attitude. Have fun at work. Be fun to work with.
Ask What They Wish For
Employee expectations are constantly changing. Continually ask them what they wish for. (They will tell you the truth only if they believe you are really listening and will act on what you learn.)
Hire Elves with Care
Make thoughtful hiring decisions for every single position in the organization. Ensure that everyone receives the orientation, training and support needed for success.
Call Them by Name
Know your team. Call them each by name, and let every soul pulling your sled know the importance of their personal contributions.
Encourage Their “Inner Rudolph”
Every employee has unique abilities and talents. Discover those strengths, and create opportunities for each individual to “shine.”
Know Who Is Naughty and Nice
Notice who is “Naughty” and take quick action to address and correct poor performance. (The “Nice” ones are really tired of taking up the slack for the “Naughties.”)
Fill Their Stockings
People crave recognition. Seek out and acknowledge work done well. If a stocking’s hung little crooked, coach for future success.
Plan for Tight Spots
Be ready to lead in tough times.
Have contingency plans for tight spots like unrealistic deadlines, budget constraints, no chimneys, hot chimneys, and other potential snags. You know they’re out there.
Think Globally
Santa has spanned the globe by continuously appreciating, adopting and adapting to new customs and traditions. Embrace a workforce and customers who reflect the diversity of our world.
Grow in Generosity and Gratitude
Constantly look for ways to give to others—without expecting anything in return. When you are the beneficiary of a generous spirit, write a note of thanks.
Be Reliable
Make your list. Check it twice. Be someone others can count on. Keep your promises.
Be Good for Goodness’ Sake
If you aren’t willing to consistently lead by example the rest of this list really doesn’t matter.