During the hectic holiday season, Santa’s not sweating a thing. That’s because by now, the cheerful man of the season has his North Pole business running quickly and efficiently. Jolly Ol’ St. Nick can’t do it alone, though—he’s the boss and beloved manager to a whole team of elves and reindeer who work tirelessly to make sure his “ho-ho-hos” are heard as presents are delivered to kids worldwide.
How does he do it all, then? Santa is a true master delegator—and that’s why his annual holiday operation always ends in a holly jolly Christmas. Here’s what you can learn from Santa Claus, the effective business manager.
1. Efficient Team of Elves
If there’s anything we all know about elves, it’s that those little guys work hard. These worker bees are keen to please their boss and produce toys that make kids everywhere smile. Why do they work so hard? It’s in their DNA, of course. Kudos to Santa for identifying their best skills—efficiency—and using it to his business’ full advantage all year long. What You Can Learn from Santa: When it comes to delegation, give people work that matches their strengths— that starts with hiring employees with the skills you need for business.*
2. Reindeer Transportation
Rain or Shine Once the toys are made and gift-wrapped, it’s go-time for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve. Santa depends on his reindeer to operate on a tight timetable—delivering presents worldwide in one night—and they do so every year with no delays. Could Santa do it all on his own? He could try, but I don’t think he’d be able to fly as quickly as Rudolph, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen. What You Can Learn from Santa: Trust and definitive deadlines are a huge part of successful delegation.* Like Santa and his reindeer, you need to trust that your employees will be able to complete the task the best way they can—and on time.
3. Mall Santas Take Your Wishes
There’s a lot of children in the world and only one Santa with one big list to check twice to see if you’ve been naughty or nice. Not only that, he has to keep track of what all the nice kids want for Christmas. Enter your local mall Santa. If you thought those part-time St. Nicks were just actors, you’d be wrong—they’re part of Santa’s secret team to match faces and wishes to those naughty or nice names.
What You Can Learn from Santa
In this case, these mall Santas have a clear assignment: Ask if you’ve been good this year and what you want for Christmas. Giving tasks with crystal clear instructions* are key to getting what you need done the right way, especially with a large team. So as the holiday season kicks off, you’ll know exactly how Santa does it: by delegating his orders to a well-trained and dependable team to make for a holly jolly Christmas.
*“How to Delegate More Effectively In Your Business.” Forbes. Oct. 2, 2013. http://www.forbes.com/sites/martinzwilling/2013/10/02/how-to-delegatemore-effectively-in-your-business/