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What Santa Knows About Management and You Should Too

Author: Charlie Cook   |   December 11th, 2014

Santa Claus or Father Christmas carrying a sack full of gift wraWhat’s that ringing sound you hear at this time of year? It’s the sound of sales generated by the holiday season and in part, thanks to Santa Claus. Just because he’s plump, doesn’t shave, and dresses all in red, doesn’t mean you should discount his success. Santa is a management expert and you can become one too, if you follow his methods.

What’s that you say? You stopped believing in Santa Claus and you don’t even celebrate Christmas?

It’s true, Santa isn’t real, but just for a minute, imagine if you could run your business like Santa. Your mission would be unabashed joy, your team would be motivated, and you’d only have to work one day a year (since Ms. Claus manages the elves.)

Seriously. Santa makes work seem like fun, which is kind of the idea. Wish you could do the same? Here’s how:

1. Stop thinking of work as a ball and chain.
When you started your own business, I’m sure your vision didn’t include being tied to your desk or computer 12 hours a day. Instead, you most likely had a vision of making a living, being good at what you do, making a difference, and having the flexibility to take time out for fun and family.

Now, I don’t know how it happens but almost every business owner I talk to thinks of their business as the noose around their neck or a ball and chain. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to reboot, to rethink how you run your business, to learn from Santa. I mean, with a business model that’s been around for well over a hundred years, there must be something to it.

2. Start by focusing on your mission.
I know when I mention vision, mission, purpose,  or values, some people cringe. To some, its sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus. But research points out again and again that the companies that have a clear purpose that are the most successful. And it makes sense.

Without a destination, if you get your car, you can easily waste a lot of time and gas driving in circles. I know I did it too many times as a teenager. Back then, that was sort of the idea.

But now when I get in the car, I have a destination in mind, a purpose. Which is exactly what every business needs – a clear mission or purpose that helps everyone on your team go in the same direction. And BTW, employees work harder when they feel they have a purpose, other than just making money.

Now, you might be thinking your business doesn’t save lives or feed the hungry, but every business that is a success, makes a difference by helping its clients and customers. Whether it’s satisfying someone’s sweet tooth with specialty ice cream or helping your dental patients enjoy a long happy life with healthy teeth, every business has a purpose.

What’s yours?

3. Have fun.
Over the years I’ve consulted with thousands of business owners, and when I ask them what their goals are for themselves, typically they start talking about their business goals, not their personal goals. But wait a minute, that’s backwards!

The reason anyone has business goals is to achieve their personal goals. And if you haven’t clarified your personal goals, are your business goals the right ones?

What do I mean personal goals?

For me? Last year, I skied 45 days while growing my business. This year, I want to do the same or more. Have FUN and increase my profits. And when I’m working, I want to have fun working with my team. The secret here is not to take ourselves too seriously, but to focus on our goals of having fun, helping others, and making a profit.

Think about it…you want to energize your team to be highly productive. What should you do, give them less vacation or help them do more fun stuff?

Santa’s Two Part Success Formula.

What it all boils down to is just two ideas:
a. Do good
b. Have fun

Focus on these two things if you want to mobilize your team to increase productivity and profits.  It’s worked wonders for my company and can do the same for your company too.

 


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