Santa’s Leadership Lesson #19 – Leading with Systems and Processes

As the big day approaches and activity in Lapland builds, it becomes even more critical for Santa to use processes and systems to ensure everything is delivered on time and in full.

With the sheer volume of activity going on down at the North Pole in the last few days, the quality and impact that Santa has with his teams is more vital than ever. His attention is divided into so many critical activities: production is still in progress, wrapping has commenced and I am sure he is even starting to get the delivery sleigh loaded ready for Christmas Eve.

Santa must ensure all these separate, but related streams are running to plan and working seamlessly. The more activity that is going on, the more remote he becomes from the action and that is where a good leader uses systems and processes to lead his business.

A leader that is really effective at using processes knows how to separate and combine activities to form efficient work flows, they know what to measure and how to measure it – all in all they seem to get more done with fewer resources. Santa delivers all those presents with just nine reindeer and one sleigh – some say it’s magic – I say it’s quality leadership – simplifying complex processes and organising activities accordingly. He uses these systems and processes to bring out the same qualities he uses when he manages people directly.

To really get the best when leading with systems and processes, you have to become comfortable at letting things manage themselves; critical to the success of this is the full engagement of the teams who use the systems. The teams’ engagement starts with the initial vision (back to lesson 1 if you missed it) and can go as far as designing the processes.

We hear a lot about Rudolph’s talent, but not so much about the other reindeer, perhaps the remaining eight are responsible for the processes that govern a distribution set up that is even the envy of Amazon.

Posted in Blog, Leadership

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