Santa Column: Notes on Effective Leadership During Trying Times

Santa's cartoon hat with a red background
A beacon of leadership integrity.

Santa is a big business success story and he likes to remind everyone about that regularly. But sometimes the pressure of the situation can lead to things like Santa’s Christmas crush.

This week, Santa is in reflective mood pontificating about how to handle the risks, pressure, and stress of paying yourself 351 times more than your employees.

It’s a leadership 101, so get your notepads ready for ideation time!

Santa’s Employee Motivation Tactics

The final push to Get Christmas Done is on!

But we’ve had so many disasters this year we’ve still got 90% of toys to make. We’ve only produced 1% of the Barbie dolls we need! And 97% of that 1% is covered in my vomit when I accidentally passed out on them one night.

With mere weeks to go… it’s not looking good. So I did what any exemplary leader does when it hits the fan. I hit the bottle.

And I want ALL business owners reading this to TREAT what follows as a PERFECT example of EXACTLY how to MANAGE stressful situations. Because I am Santa. And I am always right. Because I’m successful.

The demented stupor I ended up in had a considerable impact on workplace morale. Never have I seen my elves more terrified!

Thusly, their productivity shot up. Considerably.

To ensure such excesses of terror in your employees, consider drinking the following combination over several days:

  • Absinthe
  • Brake fluid
  • Petrol
  • Whiskey
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Bovril

I entered a new realm of mania. In a total blackout, I was charging around the factory belabouring the elves with bellows of, “ICEBERG RIGHT AHEAD!”

This became my business mantra as I rushed up to any elf in sight, grabbed them by the skull, and roared into their nearest ear, “ICEBERG RIGHT AHEAD!”

Mrs. Santa Claus (the wife) later told me I’d recently (and drunkenly) watched the film Titanic at 3am and wept myself stupid.

Apparently, that’s what inspired my newfound interest in icebergs.

It also led to 87% of my elf workforce developing sudden onset hearing damage. Many of them have been complaining about tinnitus and hearing loss. Bastard charlatans! Employees will do anything to try and besmirch your good name!

To teach them a lesson, I had Markus, my head elf, go out into the wilderness of the North Pole to get an actual, real, genuine iceberg.

It was dragged into factory unit 1 and, with me drunk and very naked, I commanded my elves all run into the iceberg repeatedly. All while I bellowed “ICEBERG RIGHT AHEAD!” over, and, over, and over.

After the iceberg melted, I rounded the elves up and demanded to know what they’d learned from this team building exercise.

They stood about shuffling their feet until one of them muttered, “Erm…”

Erm. ERM! I was speechless! SPEECHLESS! I go out there and BRING an ICEBERG into the factory for THEIR BENEFIT and they take NOTHING from the experience!

ERM!?” I bellowed and started beating my flabby chest with my chubby, grubby fists. What followed after wasn’t comprehensible from me, more a kind of gorilla-like screech as I tore after the elves wailing and bounding at them on all fours.

The wife later said I’d never been more attractive to her, manly as I was grabbing elves with my fists and hurling them up into the air and smashing them against factory contraptions.

I couldn’t remember any of the above, of course, because I was in a blackout. It happens to the best of us.

Santa’s Employee Desertion Avoidance Ideation

When I came to the next morning while slumped over a bucket in a utility closet and covered in my own puke, Markus caught up with me.

“Markus… what are you doing?!” I barked as he dutifully stood by me.

“Sir, the elves have left. They’d had enough.”

There was silence from me as I tried to work that one out. I reached around nearby with my grubby hands for a bottle. Eventually I got a half empty absinthe one and chugged at that.

“And where are they?” I asked, politely.

“They’re making their way across the North Pole, I believe most of them are wanting to work for Walmart or some other steady retail job.”

I roared, “STEADY.. BASTARD… RETAIL…” And I began a violent coughing fit and puked all over the floor and passed out.

I came to at midday having wet myself. All the bellowing had also blown some blood vessels in my eyes, so I had the look of Diablo about me.

Worse… the factory was empty. Only myself, Markus, Nurse Doreen, the chef, the janitor, the reindeer, and bitch wife remained.

Full offense to those fuckwits, Christmas wasn’t Getting Done on their watch. You need a visionary. Like me.

When it hits the fan like this, a strong leader is what makes the difference. And so I did what any great leader does in a situation like this. I hit the drugs.

Santa’s Leadership Bumf

When I came to the following day, things felt very odd. My mouth was velvety and felt like a rug was living in there.

Worse, I couldn’t see anything! Nothing! I bellowed in dismay, which led to a strange rustling noise. Turns out I wasn’t blind, I’d just passed out in Rudolph’s stable and was covered in hay.

Rudolph yanked the hay off me and offered me some hard drugs, but I decided to get straight onto the whiskey.

I staggered, in only my soiled underpants, back into the factory and went to my office for the drinks cabinet.

When I got in there and started drinking, Markus emerged. He was carrying with him a large poster of this.

God Bless Us Everyone with a Christmas dog

What in the name Christ is that!?” I barked.

“Santa bumf,” said Markus, “You demanded, at bazooka point, I have several hundred of these printed off yesterday.” I sneered down at him, “And what the hell is ‘bumf’, you idiot?!” I looked it up online. Here’s the definition:

Bumf; noun, informal. Useless or tedious printed material.

I scoffed heartily, which triggered a violent coughing fit. Markus suggested, “We should use these around the factory to cheer everyone up.”

I sneered at him haughtily, “What a stupid suggestion! The elves have all gone! Left me, the bastards… you can’t get the staff these days!”

Markus then explained the elves had all returned. “WELL HUZZAH!” I bellowed, “IT’S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!

Well, not quite. There was no intervention from God. Just, in my drug fuelled lunacy hours earlier, it turned out myself and Rudolph had used a spare bulldozer to plough out after the elves on the icy tundra of the North Pole.

There we threw nets over them all and dragged them behind the vehicle back to the factory.

Unfortunately, over 50 of the stupid little gits died in the process of that. But! They’re back. And they’ve agreed to work. Because if they don’t I’ll murder them.

Now that. That! That is leadership.

Death threats and motions of physical violence go a long way against today’s lazy snowflakes.

That and pay cuts. Which my entire workforce all received, thusly ensuring a pay rise for myself and considerable end of year bonus to confirm my superiorty.

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