By Gino Blefari
In my years of business, I’ve come across some exceptional leaders, men and women who can motivate with a single word, encourage with a single action and inspire without saying anything at all. Still, there’s one leader I’ve yet to meet, someone who I consider the epitome of enthusiasm, leading his employees with cheerful insights and sharing with the public nothing but pure joy.
Who is this amazing person, you ask? Well, the happiest leader of them all … jolly old St. Nick.
Think about it: He has a lot on his milk-and-cookie filled plate. St. Nick has to be efficient, discerning, motivational and steadfastly optimistic. He also must be punctual, trustworthy and someone who leads by example as Cheer Executive Officer for children everywhere. (And he most likely has to report all of his actions to the real boss of the North Pole, Mrs. Claus.)
In fact, you could say St. Nick understands the four disciplines of execution: He knows his wildly important goals, (deliver gifts and spread holiday cheer), he acts on his lead measures, understanding the actions he must take—drive the sleigh, manage a department of reindeers—to achieve results. He also keeps a compelling scoreboard, checking his lists (twice). Finally, he creates a cadence of accountability and maintains a positive culture in his workshop. Can you imagine what would happen to toy productivity if his team wasn’t motivated or held accountable for their actions?
And, most impressively, his business travels take him across the entire globe, shimmying through narrow chimneys the world over in the span of only one night. (I wonder how complicated those expense reports must get …)
So what’s the key message to be learned from such leadership? Well, it depends. Because Santa represents the essence of the holiday season and the holiday season means so many things to so many different people. For some, it’s about spreading joy and observing the spirit of the season. For others, it’s about spending quality time with friends and family, or setting goals and reflecting on the year gone by then deciding to make this new one even better.
Whatever the upcoming holiday means to you, be sure to make it a great one, filled with warmth, merriment and love.