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TCFP095: SANTA CLAUS IS COMING (TO GIVE LEADERSHIP ADVICE!)

Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast! This week, we decided to have a little fun and talk about the leadership traits of a legendary leader: Santa Claus! I would argue that Kris Kringle is the most under-rated leader in history. Think about it. He is in charge of the largest, most successful not-for-profit organization in the world. Regardless of the state of the global economy, Santa has consistently delivered the standards we have come to expect. His customer service is second to none, and he rarely receives a formal complaint. These are undeniable results that simply cannot be ignored.

Here are five leadership traits that help Santa succeed:

1. Santa is a visionary.

People resonate with his vision and are inspired by it. By choosing one day to focus his efforts, people are able to easily see his goal and help him achieve it.

2. Santa values the underdog.

Good leaders find strengths in their team members and create an environment for those strengths to shine.

3. Santa Claus is loyal to his workforce (and they are loyal in return).

Santa has a great staff retention rate. He looks after his staff, and in return, they look after him. Remember, when you take care of your people, your people will take care of the mission!

4. Santa knows who is naughty and who is nice.

Leaders can often overlook what doesn’t bother them directly and ignore staff behavior that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, this means that those who are “nice” are often neglected. Specifically praising people who are great team players and individual contributors is imperative for a good leader.

5. Remain grounded despite his success and fame.

Santa remains the same jovial person we all knew as children. Despite his fame, he has stayed true to his character. His consistency, humility, and dependability make everyone trust and respect him. This is a fresh reminder that regardless of your status, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Q: What do you think the criteria for being a “good” or “bad” employee should be? How do you feel when someone takes the time to correct a “bad” employee? How does that feeling compare to the feeling of being recognized for the good work that you are doing?

Q: What do you think is a sign that someone has let their position go to their head? Describe a leader who you think balances leadership, success, and humility well. How do they make you feel as an employee or team member?

Application Activities:

  1. What did you do to show your staff that you appreciate them and are loyal to them over the last week? How was it received? Think about what motivates your team and strategically plan to do something that will inspire them at least once a month in the new year. Plan for this in your schedule and your budget!

  2. If you had a “naughty and nice” list for your employees, are there any that stand out to you? Think of one person who does not have a good attitude or who is underperforming? Have you addressed them recently? If not, plan to address that behavior as soon as possible! Think of someone who has an exceptional attitude or work ethic. How have you celebrated that person specifically? Again, plan to celebrate them as soon as possible!

  3. Think back to how you acted 5-10 years ago. How have you changed? Be honest with yourself and think about both the positive and negative ways that you have changed. Have you let your position get to your head? Talk to a spouse or trusted mentor about this. You can also evaluate yourself by looking at how you spend your time and money. Do you use your time and resources to invest in and celebrate your team members? Or do you prefer to spend your time investing in networking and your reputation?

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