Did you make any work-related resolutions this year? Often, when we think about goals we want to set for ourselves, it’s useful to look toward leaders who we trust and admire, and we try to emulate them.
Christmas may be over, but if you’re looking for someone to inspire you, I propose that you consider… Santa. Yes, that Santa – white beard, red coat, smells of reindeer and cookies. There are plenty of valuable lessons to be learned from Jolly Old St. Nick that can be applied at work, and here are a few:
Keep a list and check it twice.
When you’re faced with a big task – like delivering presents to every good girl and boy around the world – it’s imperative to keep track of things. Checklists are some of the simplest, yet most effective organizational tools around. They help ensure that steps aren’t missed in a process, whether it’s something simple or something life-altering, like performing surgery.
Surround yourself with a great team, and delegate to them appropriately.
Where would Santa be without his elves? They work hard and are good at what they do. Having a great team and trusting them to do what they’re good at allows you to focus on your tasks so you can do what you’re good at.
Foster a happy, positive work environment.
Santa’s Workshop is a pretty happy place (at least, so I’ve been told). It’s full of light and cheer despite the fact that it’s smack dab in the middle of ice and snow all year. One strategy for fostering a happy work environment is to focus on encouraging the people around you and making a point to show how much you appreciate them.
Meet your deadlines.
Use whatever tools you have at your disposal – like checklists and delegation – to ensure that you can meet your deadlines. If necessary, find someone with special skills to help you get where you need to be. A reindeer with special nose skills, perhaps?
Remain calm under pressure
Getting all those presents delivered in one night? Even with a year to plan, that’s a lot of pressure for one guy. Sometimes you just have to take things one step – or chimney – at a time. Situations where the pressure is on is also one of those times when having a checklist to go back to can help keep things manageable.
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