Rudolph reflects on his leadership development

Once again I am pleased to be invited to offer a guest blog for John & Mary @developmentsolutions; I do hope you enjoy reading it.

Last year I focused on Santa and his 3 stand-out strengths.

This year I have focused on my leadership development and how my stand-out strengths (collaboration, compassion and efficiency) have helped me to develop myself as a leader.

As you will appreciate I am responsible for a team of reindeers who need to be flexible and responsive to change. Each year we have to deliver more presents to new and different places within the same time-scale. This means that I have to be able to energise, motivate and keep them all positive, even when I will admit the going can get tough. We are still looking to create and new and imaginative approaches for getting Santa into buildings without chimneys. Although one key challenge is Santa’s love of Mrs Claus’s cooking, I have learned the importance of seeking out ideas from the reindeer and find that by engaging them we have come up with options to test out before the 24th.

My strength of compassion is needed both during the tough delivery period and once we return to Santa-land, tired and hoof-weary. Despite the pressures, I have always been conscious of the need to show care and attention to all the reindeer. This year I am also going to pay more attention to offering encouragement and praise for a job well done. I will seek out times to offer praise as we fly round and then to provide positive feedback to each reindeer during the first few weeks of January.

Perhaps this is also a good time to mention your part in all this. We are always grateful for the carrots left for us along the way (hint, hint). Upon our return, Mrs Claus will have prepared plenty of warm water for us to relax in – saunas are wonderful for aching muscles. Small rewards are very powerful in keeping everyone positive.

Earlier this year Santa agreed with me a stretch goal, encouraging me to play to my strength of collaboration as part of researching what top gifts children may want this year. The sooner we know the easier it is for the elves to get to work.

Among other projects I was pleased to be able to work alongside the Huddersfield Examiner to research local childrens top 10 ideas for gifts. I liked their approach of working directly with children – collaboration and engagement is so vital to understanding customer demands and changing expectations.

For more information on this please take a look at:

Well, I hope this has given you some insights into my leadership development over the past 12 months. How have you been stretching yourself? Which of your strengths have you played to and which could you make more of in the coming 12 months? As you head up to the Christmas break, I hope you will all remember that keeping employees and customers positive and engaged is vital – carrots may not go down too well but I am sure you can think of those small but important ways to say ‘thank you’.

Enjoy your festive season. Listen out for the jingles as we fly past; I hope you get what you wish for this Christmas.


rudolph and his sleigh





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