Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: A Jolly Leader

Everyone knows there’s not one mold from which great leaders are made. Yet it’s also known that all leaders share common traits: They inspire, they motivate, they bring about joy and cheer to every member of their team.

What leader inspires, motivates and spreads cheer and joy more than jolly, old St. Nick? If you think about it, he’s got a lot on his cookie-filled plate. And we can’t deny he’s one busy guy. Here are three reasons why St. Nick is the epitome of a great leader:

  1. Nick must always maintain a positive mindset. In fact, we count on him to be steadfastly optimistic, always. Could you imagine a grumpy St. Nick?
  2. Time-management is hugely important. If his time isn’t managed properly, he can’t succeed at his job, shimmying down chimneys and delivering presents all across the world in the span of a single night.
  3. Nick abides by the four disciplines of execution: First, he focuses on his Wildly Important Goals: bringing cheer and holiday spirit to everyone around the world and putting smiles on our faces during the holiday season. Second, he acts on his lead measures. He loads his sleigh, maps out his gift-giving route and slides down chimneys to deliver gifts. Third, he keeps a compelling scoreboard, checking his lists twice and keeping score of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. Finally, he creates a cadence of accountability by meeting with his elves once per week all year long. During these meetings, his elves announce how many toys they’ve assembled that week and how many they’ll assemble in the week ahead. (“This week I made ten nutcrackers and five dolls and next week I’ll make twelve nutcrackers and seven dolls …”)

So what’s the message? St. Nick’s greatness as a leader also springs from his universality. We can relate to certain aspects of his leadership style and take whatever works best for us, which is exactly as it should be. Because the holiday season means so many things to so many different people. For some, it might be about spreading joy, observing the spirit of the season, spending time with friends and family; for others, it’s about reflecting on the year gone by and resolving the make this new one even better.

No matter what this holiday season means to you, my hope is that it’s one filled with health, happiness, peace, prosperity and joy for one and all.

Happy Holidays,


GINO BLEFARI is CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC. You can follow Gino on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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