A Leadership Lesson from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

Rudolph was a treasure waiting to be discovered.

Irritants become advantages in the right situation.


My impatience irritates a person on my team. (It probably irritates lots of people.) I’ll call him Mr. Compassion. In a morning meeting, we decided to ask a TV News Caster to interview someone.

Red noses:

Mr. Compassion doesn’t want people to feel uncomfortable. He finds it difficult to ask someone to do something difficult. Sometimes, he lets people off the hook before he even throws it.

His “red nose” – his compassion – drives me crazy. Guess what? I drive him crazy too.

Morning meeting:

It was 7:30 a.m. when we decided to see if our News Caster friend would interview someone. At 7:31 a.m., I was dialing my phone to talk with her. Mr. Compassion told me that he cringed when I dialed. The News Caster isn’t a morning person.

I want to get-er-done and move on. Mr. Compassion thinks about how people feel. Go figure!

I’m a glaring red nose in his life and he’s a blinking beakin’ in mine. I need some compassionate patience. He needs some get-er-done. He’s a treasure to me. I’m a treasure to him.

Maximize strength – avoid frustration:

If you need to challenge someone to step up to the plate in a new way, I’m your person. Hand-holding, on the other hand, isn’t my thing. I get impatient and miss opportunities by writing people off.

If I need to give someone a second change, I need to invite Mr. Compassion into my life.

  • How would you handle this?
  • What would you say? (I need to hear the exact words.)
  • What does this person need to hear?

The thing that makes you different, may be your greatest contribution.

What type of person best compliments your strength?

How might leaders bring different skill sets together?