In the spirit of Christmas and the Holiday season, I interviewed Santa to learn more about his leadership. He shared some great questions that he often asks himself when leading his teams of elves and reindeer. Here are the ones that if answered and then acted on, can lead to happy and productive employees.

Santa asks himself:

1. Do I have a list?  Without a plan and goals, I’ll probably get somewhere but nowhere I intended to go.

2. Do both my elves and reindeer understand my vision for Christmas Eve? Everyone needs to feel part of the vision and be inspired by the mission or purpose of being part of the North Pole. 

3. What qualities should my reindeer have to insure that I attain my vision and make all the children happy? If the reindeer don’t have the right attitudes and believe in my mission, then they shouldn’t be part of my team.

4. If there is a reindeer that isn’t fitting into the team, what are my plans for the reindeer? It maybe that they need some development to attain their full potential. All reindeer need a development plan.

5. Once I have the right reindeer, are they in the right place on the harness to be effective? Not all reindeer have the skills of Rudolph and can’t be at the front of the harness.

6. Am I listening to my elves and asking them the right questions so that each one of them can be successful? As a leader, I need to understand each elf’s personality and preferences because these elements will influence elf potential.

7. Do the elves have all the resources necessary to be successful? If they don’t have the right tools and supplies, they may get unhappy and leave the workshop and I am at risk of letting down many children.

8. Do the elves understand what they need to be doing to be successful? Elves need to clearly understand what is expected of them in the workshop so they know how they will be measured for their Christmas bonus.

9. Am I making myself available to the elves? I need to consistently walk the workshop and visit with reindeer to learn what may need to change in the North Pole.

10. What am I doing to recognize the good work of all the elves? Elves want to hear what they are doing right and how their work impacts the success of the workshop.

11. And when Christmas Eve is over and all the toys are delivered, how do you celebrate such a huge accomplishment? There is nothing better than a good celebration to recognize a successful Christmas Eve. It is a time when the elves can take off their hats and let their hair down. 

When do you as a leader assess your leadership ability?  These questions can be a start.  There are other methods including 360 assessment surveys that can provide you with insights into how you are perceived by others around you. Great leaders seek feedback and act upon what they hear from others.