Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ask What YOU Have Done

I bet I can describe one of the top leaders of the world and you won't be able to guess who it is. Okay, here goes - he runs an organization that you know of but you've never seen. He runs his own manufacturing, packaging, AND distribution companies. His many employees are among the happiest in the world. He doesn't sell any products, yet he continues to stay in business. Any guess yet? 100% of distribution is completed in one night. He's a very jolly individual - his belly even shakes like a bowl full of jelly. Yes, it's Santa Claus.

As "magical" as Santa may be, he still has to possess great leadership skills to get everything accomplished. Employees (elves) must be kept happy. In order to do this Santa must continuously monitor progress through self-evaluation. There are a few questions he asks of himself to ensure that he's keeping a focus on his most valuable asset - no, not reindeer - his employees. Santa asks himself - "In the last several months, what have I done to . . .
  • Be accessible (physically and mentally) to employees who would like my attention?
  • Be considerate of staff-member needs?
  • Provide employees with the training, tools, resources, and feedback required for success?
  • Keep employees in the "what's happening" information loop?
  • Help team members maintain an appropriate balance between their professional and personal lives?
  • Demonstrate respect for employees' time and talents . . . as well as respect for them as individuals?
  • Solicit, and listen to, staff-member ideas and concerns?
  • Help everyone develop and grow?
  • Fairly distribute the work and workload?"
It doesn't take a lot of extra effort to be a caring leader. There's no extra costs to ask yourself a few questions. It doesn't take but a few minutes. But what you'll get is more time since you'll have more dedicated and motivated employees - you won't have so many problems to deal with.
For more information on Santa's leadership skills check out the book, "The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus" at www.walkthetalk.com.

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