What’s The Most Important Thing A Successful Leader Should Do Four Days Before Christmas?

No rest for a weary (and thankful) leader

Where should a leader focus her valuable time and energy during hectic holiday periods? Same place as always. Spilt your thinking into three big chunks: what you did yesterday, what you are doing today, and what you need to do tomorrow. Go.

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.


  1. Jeff,

    And what is the underlying tone of what you just said? A leader isn’t given the luxury of “checking out” when things are hectic. So many in leadership roles (as opposed to those who are really leaders) do check out or defer to others when things get hectic. Sad to say, that’s why there is a type of insurance that companies can now purchase to protect the board of directors if executives/CEOs/presidents of the companies bail on their fiduciary responsibility to lead.


  2. Bob, as a non-CEO type, can I get some of that insurance?

    On second thought, nevermind. I might be inclined to give up to easily when things get tough. 🙂

  3. Bob, having a title is a huge responsibility. Not just for financial results but in how those results are pursued. And perhaps this goes back to what I call “being a great example or a glaring warning”.

  4. Jeff – you are right. With those titles comes a level of responsibility, not only to the boards/employees, but to personal integrity. Where I have seen this insurance enacted is where CEOs have the mindset of the end justifying the means. The boards/employees were initially happy with the returns, but at what ethical costs down the road?

  5. A little over a year ago, a local investigation uncovered widespread cheating at multiple levels and in multiple locations within the Atlanta Public School system. I name the system so anyone can search for the information themselves and not rely on my interpretation of the details.

    Teachers and administrators said they had to cheat in order to meet system minimums in order for he school to receive a passing grade or there would be consequences. As a result, nearly 200 teachers and administrators are facing disciplinary reviews and will face the consequences of their actions.

    What lesson are these teachers teaching our children? Honesty and integrity do not matter. And now, some of these children will grow up and keep the cycle of dishonesty alive because of this scandal. Hopefully there is time to un-ring that bell.

  6. Bob, this has been a stimulating discussion because it’s allowed me to think past corporate titles to our individual titles, like Parent, neighbor.

  7. David, you know what’s funny, because they cheated, it leaves doubt with me that they did this for the good of the school. Could their merit pay/ bonus been tied to performance? It makes me wonder if not only were they lying and cheating, but potentially stealing too.

    On the flip side, maybe they were desperately trying to do what they thought was right. Moral: lying will cause permanent doubt with those you come in contact with.

  8. There were bonuses tied to performance. Instead of the money going to educate the children it went to line the pockets of a few dishonest educators.

    It was a SMALL number involved in the scandal. There are plenty of teachers, administrators and support personnel who were not involved.

  9. David, thanks for confirming my hunch. I’m partying for everyone involved – the children, families, employees, and yes, even the sinners.

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