Christmas is a happy time for many people. It’s also a sad, depressing day for others. It really depends on how you were brought up and what the holidays meant for you.
Thankfully, Christmas is one of those happy holidays for me. I have fond memories of opening up Christmas presents that were under the tree. I also have fun memories of the babysitter who allowed us to unwrap and then rewrap some of our presents. This led to one really, really funny situation.
We were told we could open up a Christmas present. I was handed a wrapped present and told my parents I didn’t want to open it. Why didn’t I want to open it? Because it was one of the presents I’d unwrapped and knew what it was.
It was something I didn’t want that Christmas.
That’s just one of the funny memories that I have of Christmas. There are so many more.
You have them too…
These memories, these situations… they can help us explore leadership truths. Let’s take a look at a few leadership lessons from Christmas.
Leadership Lessons From Christmas
1. Leaders don’t always get what they want:
Like my story above, leaders don’t always get the results they want. It could be because a machine breaks down, a team member chooses to do something else, or a host of other reasons.
We have to be prepared for things to go wrong. For us not to get what we want.
When situations like this occur, we can be ready to act because we knew it may happen. Be ready to act when you don’t get what you want.
2. Find a reason to celebrate:
Jesus’ birth is a huge deal. His coming to Earth as a human changed the path of human history.
No longer was man condemned. Jesus came to set us free. And that He did.
But… we celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25th. There’s a very good chance this wasn’t Jesus’ real birthday. He likely wasn’t born on the 25th of December yet we still use this date to celebrate his birth.
This is okay. The date is more symbolic than anything. It helps us to remember Jesus and his coming down from Heaven.
What can this teach us about leadership? It teaches us that we don’t have to celebrate the exact day of a success or victory. The date is arbitrary. What really matters is the event itself.
You can set up a day to celebrate the founding of your organization, if you don’t know the actual date. You can choose to celebrate team member anniversaries once a month to let them know you recognize their accomplishments and sacrifices.
What’s important is recognition. Recognize what people have done and celebrate that.
3. Great leaders are sacrificial:
Jesus made a huge sacrifice in coming down to Earth. He left the throne room of Heaven. He gave up His kingdom to spend time amongst people.
This is sacrifice in all of its glory. There’s no greater sacrifice than this.
We have to be willing to be sacrificial as leaders. We need to learn to step down and enter into a relationship with those we lead.
This is what great leaders do. They give up what is theirs to help those they lead.
4. Christmas can teach leaders to be giving:
Think about Christmas… When I think of Christmas, I think of the presents around the tree and the family members around those presents.
Each present was brought and bought by someone else to give to a specific person. There is a giving mentality during Christmas.
What if we brought the giving mentality to the workplace? What would change if we all thought about what we could give those we lead or serve?
The workplace would be radically different. Selfishness would go away. Generosity would be present.
Let’s find ways to give to one another.
5. Great leaders are humble:
Jesus was one of the most humble people to walk the face of the Earth. He chose to go from King to a servant.
We see Jesus washing people’s feet. He did miracles to help other people.
He never sought out fame or acknowledgment. Rather, he chose to serve, serve, serve in humility.
Can we become humble leaders? Can we choose to lay aside the pride and ego and put on the robe of humility?
6. The meaning of leadership can be lost:
Christmas has been about the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Yet, throughout the years, this meaning has been lost.
Christmas has become a celebration of more, more, more as children scream about the presents they received. Parents believe they have to give more presents to satiate their family’s desires.
Slowly, the true meaning behind Christmas has been worn away.
We see this in leadership too.
We slowly slip away from the reason we entered into a leadership position. The reasons are lost to us and we find ourselves wondering what we’re doing.
Be wary of losing the meaning behind leadership. Leadership isn’t about you. Leadership is all about those you lead.