Santa’s Business Model….What it’s taught me
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Whether you know him as St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, or Santa Claus, he is arguably one of the most recognized figures in world. From his 4th Century origin as a bearded Christian bishop who was famous for his generosity to the poor to a man who now magically travels the entire world in a single night, Santa knows his business. Over the years, these are a few things he taught me.
Be someone others can count on. Santa’s customer base is kids (no age limit!). If you’re a kid there is a pretty good chance Santa is going to find your house on Christmas morning. He is someone you can count on. And, over the years Santa’s spirit of giving has even spread to organizations like Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army, and more directly in Kansas City Operation Breakthrough to help ensure Santa or his helpers find a way into every home. Be someone people can count on.
Checklists work. Every year Santa is “making his list and checking it twice.” He also has his “Naughty List” and “Nice List” (Which one are you on this year?) Santa has learned the importance of writing down things down. He should know; he has been refining his system for over 1,600 years! He recognizes that Checklists reduce the chance of making errors. So, if you’re trying to reduce errors in repeatable processes, try creating some checklists that are easy to follow. Checklists work.
Eat the cookies…occasionally. It has been said that Santa has never found a cookie or glass of milk he didn’t like on Christmas. But, that doesn’t mean he eats like that every day. It is OK to treat yourself and your (reindeer) team to something special, especially when there is something to celebrate, like completing a big project by Christmas day! Many businesses forget to celebrate successes throughout the year. Keep it within your means, but eat some cookies and celebrate your successes with your team.
The joy in giving. This is the best part of Santa’s business model. Santa knows there is nothing like seeing the joy on the face of child on Christmas morning. It was at the heart of St. Nicholas during the 4th century and it was the message of a baby, born in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. Recently, I witnessed the joy of giving at a client’s Christmas holiday party. The owner not only had nice gifts for all the employees, but there was something for every spouse and their children too! Make giving part of your business model and experience the joy it gives back to you.
We hope everyone has a great holiday season with your family and friends. Be safe if you’re traveling…please don’t text or drink and drive. And if you haven’t already, consider helping Santa by supporting some of the organizations mentioned above. As always, feel free to leave any comments in the space below. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach