To get into the holiday spirit, I thought we’d have a little, silly fun. Like most kids, one of the magical people in my life growing up was Santa Claus. First and foremost, he brought me amazing gifts. And, it was super simple to obtain what he offered: I just had to be good. But I clearly remember asking my mom when I was in first grade, around 6 years old, how did Santa deliver all of the presents to all of the children, all around the world, all in one night. She never answered it other than saying “he just does.”
So, I imagined for myself how he did it. I figured the reindeer made him super fast. Or, the elves helped him make it all happen.
But now as an adult, I realize Santa Claus offers the following examples every Business Owner or Executive could ever wish to model.
Sure, we might be talking about make believe, but his principles and structure were as real as it gets.
While Fedex and UPS might think they’re better and like to advertise, making fun of the big guy, Santa’s still got both of them beat. Forget overnight, how about the same night?
Here’s the systems and strategies we could all learn from Santa:
Santa knew his objective. It was clear. And, everything he did was always with his ultimate intention, his ultimate prize, in mind. He used that intention as his compass. It was the standard he set. And, his objective was large and stretched him. He set his bar high, which was to deliver presents to every child globally. And, he delivered.
Santa could really be called Santa Claus, Inc. To pull off his one big project, his one big night, he had an entire team surrounding him. His employees had multiple jobs that they all did to contribute to Santa’s overall intention. Thus, the sum of the parts created the results Santa sought.
Think about it. Santa pulls off what appears to be impossible. His entire job is about the clock and he’s constantly on it. He has no margin of error. He can’t be late. So, he truly is the Original Time Manager. He treated Christmas Eve like the project it truly is and set clear time objectives to achieve what he desired.
Santa clearly is a master delegator. The man understands the power of leverage like no other manager. He deployed countless resources, elves and animals, to perform the tasks he required to fulfill the job. He delegated and stayed on top of it, whether is was the days leading up to Christmas or the big night itself. His team knew their exact roles and duties because he communicated.
The way I look at it, Santa was Fedex or UPS before they ever existed. He was able to get packages to every house, not overnight, but the same night. He did it like any other world class business, by having people, process and systems in place. He brought energy, enthusiasm and effort in a focused way to his one big night. Effectively, he was one of the world’s first Project Manager. He had one big event annually, much like say a Superbowl or Oscar night, where he had to perform. he had zero margin of error and always pulled it off flawlessly.
We could all still learn a thing or two from Santa Claus, even as adults!