The Real Reason Rudolph Flew from Outcast to Hero is Not About Red Noses

No one sings about your nose. But when Santa said, “Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” Rudolph became the most famous reindeer in history.

But there’s more to Rudolph’s fame than bad weather and a red nose.

Life was misery until Rudolph solved a crisis one foggy night.

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.

Rudolph is famous because blame and resentment didn't destroy him.

Before the foggy night:

Toxic culture:

Rudolph’s colleagues used to laugh and call him names.

I’ve seen employees weep because of destructive office gossip. Belittling and excluding destroy confidence and dissolve relationships.

Lousy leadership:

At the risk of being put on the naughty list, it took a foggy night for Santa to appreciate Rudolph’s strength.

Disrespect destroys teams, but Santa did nothing.

Lousy leaders tolerate toxic culture.

Why Rudolph is the most famous reindeer:

Would you work with a leader who endorsed neglect and abuse?

“Where were you when all the reindeer laughed and called me names?”

Would you work with the team that belittled you?

“Yeah, now you love me!”

Rudolph is famous because blame and resentment didn’t destroy him.

Rudolph seized an opportunity to contribute, even though he had been unappreciated, disrespected, and abused.

Lessons from Rudolph:


If you hope to become the most famous reindeer, bring value even when you’re not recognized.

#1. Focus on opportunity, not disappointment.

#2. Forgiveness sets you free to serve. Resentment blocks contribution and empties life of meaning.

I’m not suggesting you tolerate name calling, but what will you do the next time you feel underappreciated?


#1. Including people gives them courage to contribute.

#2. Never tolerate disrespect on the team.

#3. The thing that irritates you about a team member might be an untapped strength looking for an opportunity.

What excuses do people give for NOT making their best contribution?

How might leaders create environments where people flourish instead of languish?

Bonus material:

9 Consequences of Name Calling (

Don’t Let Your Anger “Mature” Into Bitterness | Psychology Today