Christmas can bring out the best and worst in people.
Some love the festive season and some can’t wait until it’s all over. Where do you stand – all you conscious leaders out there?
Although the trappings of Christmas are a relatively recent invention, they do serve to bring people together whether they choose to celebrate or not. It is often a period for personal reflection when the emotions surrounding success or failure seem to reach a peak of intensity. It is at these times that your leadership can have a big impact on those who follow you.
Let me look at three aspects of Christmas that I hope will touch you.
• Human warmth
• Celebration & hope
We con our children in the early years of their life that a jolly man with a white beard sneaks into the house at night and brings them a sack full of presents at Christmas. The giving of these presents is symbolic of the unconditional love we have for our children (unless we mention the “naughty or nice list that is!). Giving without expecting anything in return is hard. We all like to be recognised for the things we do and it can rankle when our acts of kindness go unnoticed. When no one appreciates the Christmas Party you have laid on at great expense, it is easy to brand them as ungrateful b******s.
A Conscious Leader might not feel this way though. If you can give in the full knowledge that you are acting in the interest of the greater good, then you have no need of reward. The unconditional act of giving at Christmas, especially if it comes from you and not your staff, can really show you care.
Caring (and I mean really caring) is an essential ingredient of what it takes to be a warm human being. Why do so many leaders think they have to remain aloof and keep their distance? Even worse, why do so many think that caring and warmth are signs of weakness? I would argue that – if you really care about your staff and their well-being, then they will care about you too. To experience their unconditional love is a powerful gift indeed. Christmas is a time when you have the ideal opportunity to be caring.
Although Christmas is just before the New Year, it is much closer to the Winter Solstice. This is a time when the days start to become lighter again and there is the promise of new growth and development.
So my message is – celebrate what has been (there is always something good to recognise), draw a line under what has not gone well, and look forward with hope and optimism to the coming year.
So bugger the budget setters and the bureaucrats. They create gloom when you don’t comply with their demands. Follow your own path and create light and hope for those around you. They will thank you for your leadership and create so much – if you let them.
Wishing you a fantastic Christmas celebration and here’s to a very conscious and creative new year.