Santa Claus has remained 78 years old for 161 years.
If that’s not a Christmas miracle, I don’t know what is.
I have to admit, he’s a pretty impressive fella, especially for a perpetual septuagenarian (yup, that’s how you spell it).
My mother is 82 years old and still runs/walks 6 miles per day. That’s pretty impressive when you compare her to the rest of the world. But it’s bupkis when stacked against St. Nick.
Nobody travels further and faster than Santa.
Nobody is as meticulous in their assessment of so many people’s personalities.
And nobody has ever held such an A-list-level celebrity status quite as long as the jolly ole chap.
In our world that idolizes youth, fitness, and vitality, Santa Claus stands as the lone beacon of hope for obese old men who run sweatshops in remote locations of our decaying planet.
The thing is, I’ve got to hand it to the Claus. Beneath the layers of fluffy red velour and that jiggly jelly belly, he’s not a bad leader. Not at all.
I’d go so far as to say that Santa Claus is one of the most impressive and successful leaders our world has ever seen.
As the default CEO of Christmas, he runs a robust, global organization with a logistics system that puts both Amazon and McDonald’s to shame. He’s built an incredible company culture and a brand that has built a cult-like following of passionate believers.
And this is why I want to share with you the 6 Essential Leadership Lessons from Santa Claus.
The 6 Essential Leadership Lessons from Santa Claus
Sure, you can think of Santa as a poorly dressed hermit who only visits civilization when everybody else is asleep. You wouldn’t be wrong.
But behind the facade of the 1-day work-year, he is quietly a very impressive leader. There are six things Santa knows that every other leader would benefit from understanding. Here they are:
1. Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Santa alone doesn’t create the magic of Christmas; he’s just the frontman.
The miracle of Christmas is created by all those little people you take for granted, otherwise known as the Elves. Or worker-bees. Or whatever you like to call them.
Without their united efforts, Christmas would be a disaster. If Santa gets sick, Christmas still happens. But if the Elves all leave, the entire Claus Corporation will crumble.
Remember that the next time you want to berate your entire staff.
2. The Importance of a Feedback Loop
In my role as a business growth consultant, one of the most common challenges I see with companies of all sizes is the lack of an effective and continuous feedback loop.
Santa has mastered the feedback loop.
He always knows exactly what the customer wants and is acutely aware of the power in letting the customer feel they have a say in the final product.
Dare I say, but nobody does the feedback loop better than Christmas, Inc.
You can learn a thing or two from them.
3. The Art of Delegation
Do you really think Santa is involved in making each of the toys? C’mon now. Open your eyes to reality.
Businesses don’t get big when a leader has his hands in everything.
Santa knows this, so he delegates.
By delegating, he not only empowers the elves to play a meaningful role in the organization’s overwhelming success, but it gets him out of the way to allow the company to become an overwhelming success.
Sometimes, the most important thing a leader can do is get the heck out of the way.
4. Know Your List; Check it Twice
Santa’s famous for his OCD-like list-checking behavior.
You may mock him for it, but I guarantee you that St. Nick knows his team’s strengths and weaknesses better than you know your team’s.
He has created expectations and set very clear standards of conduct: you’re either naughty or nice – there are no other options. It only takes checking the list twice to make a quick decision.
5. Adapt To The Challenges. And There Will Always Be Challenges.
If you think it is always clear skies during the present-delivery window, you’re more deranged than I originally believed.
Have you never been in a flying sleigh over the Bermuda Triangle during December?
Have you never even thought about sliding down a chimney when the fire is still aflame?
Adaptability is everything for a leader.
Prepare for Plan A, and get ready for Plan’s B through Z. That’s business. That’s Santa.
6. Spreading Joy Is The Real Goal
Santa’s true job is not to deliver presents but to spread joy throughout the world.
Similarly, as a leader, your true job is to inspire others to be better leaders and create a positive environment where everybody can flourish.
Remember, happy elves are productive elves.
Santa’s Leadership Lessons For You To Remember
Maybe you lived your life thinking of Santa as simply a Hallmark poster boy. But no, he is a masterclass in successful leadership.
His approach to leadership isn’t just about picking up reindeer poop; it’s about creating a culture where teamwork and adaptability are gifts that keep on giving year-round.
Santa doesn’t just deliver toys to kids; he delivers joy and hope to billions of people throughout the world.
It’s important for you to take a lesson from St. Nick and remember that your title and job description don’t define you.
Your primary goal as a leader is to inspire those around you to believe in something greater.
Whether you’re guiding a team, running a company, or just trying to make a positive difference in your kitty-corner of the world, it’s time to embrace the spirit of Santa-like leadership.
Be jolly. Be generous. And spread joy wherever you go.
Ho ho ho, yo.
Happy Holidays from all of us at The Best Leadership Newsletter Ever.
[Editor’s Note: there’s only one of us]