The Santa Claus Leadership System

Santa Claus asks, “What do you want?”

Leaders get further when they know what the people around them want and do their best to give it.


Generosity assumes you know what others want. Hot dogs in a vegetarian’s Christmas stocking might be funny, but it’s not generous.

Recipients define generosity.

The system:

The wants of others drive Santa’s interactions. Every interaction with Santa fits a simple five step system.

  1. What is your name?
  2. What do you want?
  3. Have you been a good girl or boy?
  4. Would you like a candy cane?
  5. Merry Christmas.

Santa’s system applied:

  1. Care about people as individuals.
  2. Express interest in what others want. What would change about you and your organization if you actively asked, “What do you want?”
  3. Explore and evaluate performance.
  4. Give honor, gratitude, and rewards.
  5. Maintain optimism. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Don’t allow your needs to blind you to the wants of others.

You need things like results, profits, sales, increased numbers, and solutions. Those needs never go away. But…

Successful leaders ask, “What do you want?”

You can’t lead until you know what others want.

What leadership lessons does Santa Claus teach?

What’s troubling about asking, “What do you want?”