Last year I wrote 5 Reasons Santa Is A Better Manager Than You. Good news: you have become much better this year! Yes, you even have a good potential to become a better Manager than Santa Claus in 2017!

Read on for the anti-thesis of last year’s posting and learn how to become a better Manager than Santa Claus:

  • Adapt to new technologies fast: When Santa is going from A to B, he uses a reindeer sledge, and this has not changed for centuries (OK, he can fly and you and I cannot but still it is old-fashioned). Santa missed out on modern means of transportation. What about you and modern means of communication? How actively do you use LinkedIn (a career management tool that is underestimated by 95% of its users)? Are you on Twitter and Facebook? Watch out: you are being judged by your teams and chances are high these are composed of Gen Y. Adapt fast unless you want to be judged as outdated as good ol’ Santa by your followers.
  • Watch your outfit: Sure, Santa looks fancy and in a certain way even timeless in his red and white dress. However, you might wish to put another outfit on when you go to the office if you want to be on the safe side, especially when the guys from headquarters come over for a site inspection. If you are man, throw all ties away that are older than 7 years (or put them into a box and have a critical look at them in another 7 years). Also watch your hairdo: As my friend Martin puts it “when you have hairs are coming out of your ears and nose, cut them.” (was it like this, Martin? Please comment).
  • Mens sana in corpora sano: Rob Hornman – a successful CEO at the peak of his career who all of sudden got a struck – has written here the importance of remaining healthy. Santa looks to me like someone who loves good food (nothing wrong, so do I) yet I have a suspicion that Santa Claus has an alcohol problem (just look at his nose!!!). I am also shocked that a big US American soft drink producer more or less annexed Santa to run their commercials (since 1931). Too much sugar is not good neither. Santa looks so wise, he should know better and change his lifestyle.
  • Surprise your teams: It is good to be consistent and to let know people what you stand for. Followers need this. However – forgive me (I am aware that I am taking the risk finding myself without ANY present on Christmas Eve but someone must tell the truth!) – Santa Claus is a little boring: after all, we all know that he will be back every year on Xmas eve and bring us presents. And he has done so for centuries! Surprise your teams once in a while to make the motivation live and keep it all dynamic!
  • Maintain a competitive and dynamic profile: Dynamic changes are a vital part of a competitive profile. What about Santa? He has not changed job content, strategy and his looks since 1773 where he first appears in literature. Again, I deeply respect Santa (and truly hope he really exits, especially as Christmas is approaching rapidly and I really want the new iPhone) but would you hire someone who has been in the same job for 250 years? Doubts that this person might not adapt to a new company culture are well founded. Make sure you change every 5-7 years to avoid the “Santa Claus Career Syndrome” (please quote me and make me famous).


If you are located in NYC, Paris, Tel Aviv, Dubai, Bangkok or anywhere else, if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or anything else, Santa is probably there (nonetheless). And if you believe in Santa or not, there are some key learnings in what he does and how he does it: be good, be modern, be competitive, surprise your followers and you are very likely to make a career as a Chief Operations Officer, a goblin or a J2EE programmer.

Season’s greetings to you and yours and see you back in 2017!

This article was written for Kennedy Executive where it originally appeared. The original article can be viewed here