Santa’s Leadership Healthcheck

Since it is the season where all things festive take over I thought I would have a little bit of fun and conduct one of our leadership health checks on the big man and his global operation! Let’s see what we can pick up from Mr S Claus and his legendary operation! This guy was doing what Amazon now do centuries before!!!

Here are the 8 indicators of leadership success…

1. Clear Vision that everyone buys into.

The man in the red coat has clearly created a very powerful of what Christmas should be about and this has been effectively communicated with some very clear behavioural values that underpin this season of festivity. His use of multimedia (film, music and “live” grotto appearances events has helped to promote this vision and re-enforce what matters. The fact that others freely take this vision and share their own interpretations of it shows just how strong Christmas HQ has engaged both employees and customers alike!

2. Sustainable Success

The origins of Santa Claus lie back nearly 1800 years ago to around 280 AD so the brand has clearly enjoyed a long life that appears in no way diminished today. The willingness of Christmas Corp to continue to adapt to the demands of the modern consumer show that it is still relevant today.

3. Autonomy

This is an interesting one for Mr S Claus. He is a larger than life character and is very much the focal point of the organisation. Yet, to enable his global operation to happen he has had to rely heavily on the skills of his elf team and has allowed the main logistical and manufacturing processes to be overseen by their magical talents. He sets the tone, but the elves deliver the magic. Decision making is largely devolved which is a great attribute.

4. Innovation

For a very traditional outfit innovation can sometimes be hard. Christmas corp has worked hard to keep its traditional values but as mentioned has also adapted to stay relevant today. The franchising of winter wonderland style experiences and of course the “planned trips to visit Santa” have all been fairly recent innovations that have maxed the benefits of improved technology. Even Santa’s choice of carbon neutral transport shows that he was years ahead of others!

5. Customer Satisfaction

For all the hype what really matters is the satisfaction that people feel on Christmas day. Christmas Corp are famed for their on time delivery and indeed a failure on this key metric blows all the hard work apart. This focus on doing what they say means that in the main happy smiley customers keep the belief in Christmas Corp brand its brand alive year in year out.

6. Learning and growing

This is perhaps one area that Mr S Claus could do more. It seems that whilst the elf team are brilliant at what they do they could perhaps have greater scope to investigate and look at how to maximise the advent of new technologies to further enhance the offer. AI Santa anyone?

There is also perhaps more that could be done to encourage, and value greater diversity given the fact that the global reach means that more people sit outside their core client group than within it.

7. Talent and Succession

Whilst traditionally famed for spotting the unique talents of members of the team and using them at their best the biggest challenge facing Christmas Corp is the lack of a natural successor to the big man himself. His management of the Rudolf promotion showed that he has an eye for maximising the benefits of a diverse team but there still seems to be little real progress on a structured succession plan.

8. Positive Contribution beyond the organisation

This is clearly a strong point – Christmas Corps contribution to the world encouraging happiness, giving and a sense of kindness is what has given the organisation such a prominent role in society.

I hope my little bit of festive fun has not upset or offended anyone – life can get so very serious so a bit of a light-hearted way to introduce the indicators that form the heart of Mindset Associates Leadership HealthCheck seemed like a fun idea! I hope you take it in the spirit it was meant.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic 2019! From all at Mindset Associates – Merry Christmas!

Haydn Bratt, Pioneer, Mindset Associates

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