Book Reviews

A Little Elf Gave Me an Early Christmas Gift

Last week, The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus, showed up on my doorstep unexpectedly. Apparently, I ended up on a list somewhere (holiday spirit says “Santa’s nice list”, but in reality, a vendor or conference probably passed along my name). A leadership book based on a Santa theme? I expected it to lay a steaming Yule log. But it was a short book, and I was intrigued, so I gave it a try. Despite my initial bah-humbug attitude, the book works and provides sound foundational leadership¬†principles and practices. A few time, I found myself relating to and laughing at the Santa-based examples of guiding and motivating a diverse workforce (elves, reindeer) to execute the mission and manage the logistics of a large, long-term project with a critical delivery date and multinational stakeholders with different priorities. The lessons offered aren’t tremendously deep, but the examples are clever and the advice is solid. Each of the 8 chapters has 3 key takeaways that are offered as a checklist at the end of the book. Most lessons are items that are known to leaders after a short time in the role.¬†The book would work best for individuals transitioning into a leadership position, or as a gift to the more seasoned leader to remind and reinforce the foundations in a light, fun way. This book is a very fun gift this holiday for the aspiring leaders on your “nice” list.