Borrowing themes from The Santa Clause and Elf, both available in the Do You See What I See archives, the Christmas Chronicles strayed a just a bit from the typical Christmas movie formula. This 2018 Netflix hit presented Santa as a deliciously chiseled hunk who commits grand theft auto, gets the verbal best of some street toughs, and has been known to snort a line or two to get through the long Christmas night. OF POWDERED SUGAR!
But through all his debauchery, Santa and his band of helpers offered important lessons you can use in business. I’m Jeff from Prime Concepts, and in this final episode of Do You See What I See? Business Lessons from holiday classics – we present the top 5 business lessons from The Christmas Chronicles.
And before we get started, all of us at Prime Concepts want to wish you a happy, safe, and festive holiday. We hope you get that skateboard you always wanted, kid. All right, let’s do this.
Lesson 1: Trust Your Instincts
This one goes out to all my entrepreneurs out there. Kate saw in some old Christmas videos an arm that, since it was dressed in the familiar red-and-white attire, she presumes to be Santa. So on Christmas Eve, she enlists her brother, Teddy, to help her prove it’s really St. Nick by setting up a trip wire and a hidden camera.
And by God if she wasn’t right. Santa appears on film, the kids follow him out the door, and hijinks and tomfoolery ensue.
Without belief that her idea would work, Kate never would have experienced the adventure of a lifetime. And you should have the same belief in your ideas because no one else will share your enthusiasm and passion if you don’t display it first. If you have a need for a new product or idea, that means a lot of other people do, too. Bringing it to life isn’t easy, but it’s worth the time and effort. Now, get out there and make it happen!
Lesson 2: Your Mistake is Not Someone Else’s Responsibility
When Santa’s reindeer notice a curious Kate trying to keep up with the sleigh, they get spooked and Santa loses control, eventually breaking down after a quick teleportation to Chicago. Hopefully, he landed at Midway, not O’Hare – O’Hare is crazy on Christmas Eve.
In spite of Kate and Teddy’s insistence on making it right, Santa attempts to shoo the youngsters away. But they won’t be deterred, eventually talking their way into Santa’s good graces and convincing him to accept their help.
That’s called responsibility. When you cause a problem or make a mistake, it’s on you to fix it – not your boss, not the client, and certainly not Santa Claus. He has enough going on. No – it’s YOU. Don’t leave the problem until it’s fixed, don’t make someone else clean it up, and don’t let it happen again.
Lesson 3: Find Opportunities to Boost Morale
Sitting in a jail cell on Christmas Eve due to the understandable skepticism of one hardscrabble police officer, Santa could have bemoaned his circumstances, accepted defeat, and made life miserable for everyone around him. But he didn’t! He literally got the band together by pulling instruments from thin air and granting all the suspects the miraculous ability to play and perform. Naturally, that lifted everyone’s spirits and Santa was released, free once again to terrorize – I mean delight – the streets of Chicago.
When things aren’t going so well at work, that’s not the time to wallow in fear, anger, hurt feelings or bitterness. No, that’s the time to pull everyone together, offer encouragement, and grow as a team. Plan a fun outing after-work or order in lunch. Promote a work-life balance. Be available. Teach someone how to play the guitar and then sing along to “Honky Tonk Women.”
Lesson 4: Give Your Team Members Chances to Prove Themselves
Let’s talk about Teddy. He lost his dad, he gets himself into dangerous situations, and eventually he’ll just have to be “Ted,” which doesn’t sound cool at all. Or Theodore, my goodness. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
All Teddy needs is a little push in the right direction. Some guidance. Someone who really believes in him. That someone turns out to be Santa Claus, who nurtures Teddy from a hardened car thief to a … I guess like a little bit nicer car thief?
But Santa lets Teddy drive – not just the stolen car, but the sleigh, too, when Santa and the reindeer really need to get moving. It’s nothing Teddy has done before, but Santa believes and Teddy gets the job done.
Put that kind of faith in your team. Challenge them to do things they haven’t done before, even if they’re not comfortable or not ready. Instill confidence in those who lack it. Let each team member know what you believe they can do, and eventually they’ll not only believe, but they’ll do it.
Lesson 5: Break Your Own Rules Sometimes
Santa … is Santa. Ya know? He wants to do things the right way, make everyone happy, keep his reindeer safe and put everyone on the NICE list.
But it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes things go a bit haywire and you have to take a new approach, maybe even go a bit outside your comfort zone. Santa’s rough edges made that a bit easier for him, but it can be difficult. But as long as you’re acting with integrity, it’s ok to break from the norm in the name of getting it done.
Santa probably didn’t want to steal a car or have to match wits with the police, but he did it in the name of saving Christmas and making children around the world happy. When it’s for the greater good, it’s good.
That wraps up our holiday series. Join us next month when we bring you Business Lessons from National Dress Up Your Pet Day. Oh, we’re not doing that? The video…but we are dressing up our pets, right? OK, thank goodness.
We hope you’ve enjoyed these business lessons from our favorite movies, and we sign off with more love and cheer to you and yours this holiday season.