When everyone thinks of Santa Claus, they think of the jolly old guy that flies around and passes out gifts to the children of the world. Most of us do not think of Santa Claus as a manager and leader, but that’s exactly what he is. The workshop at the North Pole doesn’t just operate on its own; it’s staffed by elves and then he has to keep the reindeer motivated and in shape all year long so they can pull his sleigh on Christmas Eve.
Santa’s workshop is a production facility that has to change rapidly to the needs of the children, which some elves find difficult. Santa has to hire, evaluate and sometimes even fire his elves and reindeer. If you find it hard to hire qualified people, imagine trying to hire them and to relocate to the North Pole!
Santa wrote this book for two specific reasons:
- To survive and prosper, you and your organization must be able to achieve “big things” throughout each year;
- You can’t get those big things done without effective leadership.
Getting big things done all year long isn’t about magic, it’s about leadership. That’s how to get big things done in your “workshop” all year long.
This book is easy to read and can be completed in a weekend. This book would be a great Christmas stocking stuffer for anyone who is interested in improving their leadership skills. Hear are the highlights of the book.
1. BUILD A WONDERFUL WORKSHOP
- Make The Mission The Main Thing
- Make spirits bright by building and delivering high-quality toys to good little girls and boys.
- Focus On Your People As Well As Your Purpose
- You can’t possibly focus on your mission without also focusing on the folks that make your mission happen.
- Let Values Be Your Guide
- Make sure that everyone knows what values are important, and then help everyone turn those good beliefs into everyday behaviors.
2. CHOOSE YOUR REINDEER WISELY
- Hire Tough So You Can Manage Easy
- The time spent hiring the right way is nothing compared to the time you will have to spend dealing with the wrong reindeer.
- Promote The Right Ones… For The Right Reasons
- Donner was a great puller, but not as the lead reindeer, Rudolph meet those criteria, and he wasn’t the best puller
- Go For The Diversity Advantage
- Santa hired ‘different’ toymakers, not just elves, who brought new skills, perspectives, and ideas to the workshop.
3. MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE
- Plan Your Work
- Our success – and resulting reputation for excellence – is the result of clearly defined goals combined with well-thought-out plans to accomplish those goals.
- Work Your Plan
- If we want to hear jingle bells ringing on the 24th, we need to set and live by goals… all year long!
- Make The Most Of What You Have
- Goal setting – planning your work and then working your plan – not only leads to effectiveness, it also fosters effectiveness, it also fosters efficiency… it helps you minimize waste.
4. LISTEN TO THE ELVES
- Open Your Ears To Participation
- Involving workers in running the operation – and in making decisions that affect them – is a key strategy for leadership success.
- Pay Attention To How You’re Perceived
- I pay attention to what my elves (and others) feel. Perceptions are realities for those realities in order to lead effectively.
- Walk Awhile In Their Shoes
- Get out into the workshop and help the elves, ask them about problems, challenges and obstacles they face and how to do things better.
5. GET BEYOND THE RED WAGONS
- Help Everyone Accept The Reality Of Change
- The only constant in life and business is CHANGE, you can’t always make just red wagons, you have to abandon the status quo. As the leader, you have to make it happen with both decisiveness and sensitivity.
- Remember: The Customer Really Is In Charge
- Obviously, our job is to give people what they’re looking for and as their wants and needs change, we have to change along with them.
- Teach “The Business” Of The Business
- The more employees understand about how the business works, the more likely they are to accept and support change.
6. SHARE THE MILK AND COOKIES
- Help Them See The Difference They Make
- Nothing motivates employees more than knowing they’re making a difference.
- Do Right By Those Who Do Right
- I’ve learned that recognizing employees – doing right by those who do right – is one of the best things I can do for my elves and reindeer … and for myself as well.
- Expand The Reinforcement Possibility
- Reinforcing and recognizing good work is not just management’s job, it’s everyone’s job … everyone’s responsibility.
7. FIND OUT WHO’S NAUGHTY AND NICE
- Confront Performance Problems… Early
- Deal with performance problems early and calmly – before they get big.
- Coach “The Majority In The Middle”
- It’s imperative that your “middle stars” don’t fall backwards, but stay as good performers, or better yet, move to the superior-performance level.
- Don’t Forget “The Super Star”
- As a leader, the key to dealing with superstars is to demonstrate – through words and actions – that you know and appreciate the fact that they are the nicest of “the nice.”
8. BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE
- Set The Example
- There’s no getting around it: I must model the behaviors that I expect from OTHERS. I must take the LEAD. I must be the first to “walk the talk.”
- Establish Guidelines And Accountability
- All of the guidelines we provide are valuable and important. But for them to have true meaning and really matter, they must be backed with accountabilities and consequences.
- Remember That Everything Counts
- Being good means being good all the time. There are no times-outs. No crossing your fingers behind your back. Everything counts.
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