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Leadership lessons from Santa

Appreciating the unique gifts and talents of others

The new team member, albeit young, was knowledgeable and excited to be part of the group.  Quickly into his tenure however, his highly unique gift became obvious to all.  Many were uncomfortable with it, having never experienced its value. The team quickly began talking about it.  Soon, talk turned to gossip and rumors; leaving the new member feeling isolated.  It was soon obvious to all that Rudolph, was not included in any reindeer games.  Heading into their busy season coupled with a strong need to meet their annual strategic goals, the CEO began to notice that one of the teams was splintering.


Concerned, but not wanting to over-react, the CEO reflected on and developed a plan to highlight Rudolph’s unique gift.  It was crucial to do so in a manner that would strengthen the team, and entire organization.  On the night of the annual Board Meeting, all of the team was nervous as the weather turned bad, further hampering their final strategic efforts.  Just as things were looking bleak, the CEO announced that Rudolph, with his special talents and gifts would be leading the team into the home stretch of their strategic initiatives. 


Once lauded as strange and isolated from the group, the team and the organization, realized the crucial role of the unique gifts of all team members.  Heading into the new year, the CEO Santa and Chief Elves wanted to ensure that they strengthened the culture with tactics that ensured the gifts of all team members were utilized, not ostracized.  They were determined to ensure that organizational leaders:

  • Stood up for team members, ensuring that everyone felt welcomed and part of a team,

  • Supported the unique gifts of all team members, they might not be needed in the moment, but eventually they may prove invaluable,

  • Recognize that ineffective team dynamics can have a profound effect on meeting strategic goals,

  • Share positive stories about team members within the organization as to promote the strength of everyone,

  • Engage with team members everyday to ensure that all of the team members are receiving their daily DOSE (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins), and

  • Practice gratitude to spread thanks, goodwill, and appreciation year round. 


What are your people (or reindeer) centered strategies for 2024?  Feel free to share in the comments! 

 Merry Christmas to all! ~d

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