How to deal with a Leader-as-Santa. Ho-ho-Oh no.

I love this time of year. There are Santas spreading joy everywhere.

The sad reality is a few leaders emerge from a 10-month hiatus into a larger-than-life bundle of Santa inspired niceness. It’s a difficult duality. Why can’t he/she be human/caring/generous for the whole year?

Most children figure out the truth about Santa by age 7. For me, I was hearing what other kids were saying, finding hidden unwrapped presents, and besides, my house didn’t even have a chimney! 🤔

As adults, we ask around and look for evidence to assess if our leaders have earned our trust to believe in them. Employees easily see through Leader-as-Santa just like a child solves the puzzle about Santa’s true existence. The fake harmony and false hopes are plainly de-motivating. The faux cheerful mood might soon be swept away when the decorations are taken down.

Perhaps we could refrain from judging a boss for blossoming into Leader-as-Santa once a year. Relax. Take it for what it is.

You won’t ever really know why a leader comes “good” at Xmas. People are people. What’s one new thing you could do over the next 11 months to open up a safe space to spread some joyful year-round humanity?

Ho ho ho and Merry Xmas!