In a recent conversation about the upcoming holiday of Christmas, I brought up the topic of Santa Clause.

At first I was just using the iconic figure as the brunt of my jokes but then a few leadership ideas started to come out of the discussion. I thought I would pass a few of those along in case there are any of you out there in blogger world planning to lead a team to accomplishing a goal bigger and greater than any that could be accomplished by one individual.

It does not matter whether you are a business professional, pastor, head of your household or the leader of the club at your school, the leadership lessons that we can learn from the jolly old elf are pretty solid.

While there are many lessons to learn, like listening to elves, living from a list, or marketing & strategy, I think there are three ideas that I got from the white haired sleigh man.

  • Build a team that buys into the vision. This guy takes what the rest of the world would classify as “outcasts” and builds a team that is second to none. The work environment is both exciting and encouraging. No matter what your leadership role is, encouraging your team to be the best they can be on the top of your “to do list”. I know that you can do this; I have faith in you. (Did you see what I did there?)
  • It is easy to build your team when your vision is not about you. I have recently been looking into what makes a leader “idolized” in today’s world, and it always seems to happen when the leader has a vision that is not about them. After all, what does the jolly round man get out of all of his work? Other than milk and cookies, the pay and the hours are horrible. I think that the happiness he gets comes from doing things for others. I would call this “enjoying and serving”. When our goal is about enjoying and serving others, it is easier to get people to join in on the vision. I like to call this step 2, enjoying and serving.
  • The last lesson I want to share is this, “Make the mission the main thing”. No matter what month, week, or day that you would stop into the work shop, no matter whom you ask, the mission would always be the same. It is clear and easy to understand. The only reason the entire organization exists is to deliver toys to good little boys and girls around the world. Whether you are an elf working in sled design, or a button sewer, your mission remains the same. They know their role and the team knows how they fit that mission.

As the day gets closer, remember that somewhere there is a team working to finish the final details in able to fulfill their mission. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, and I hope that you all take some time with family and friends to enjoy this Sacred Holiday.

This week’s experiment find a place to serve others. I promise that the gift you receive will not be one that you want to return.