Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

This column is part of Globe Careers' Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their views and advice about leadership and management. Follow us at @Globe_Careers. Find all Leadership Lab stories at tgam.ca/leadershiplab.

This is a hectic time of year. The calendar is jammed with work and social events, the pocketbook is stretched and the need to fulfill family dreams is overwhelming.

It is a time when stress levels reach a tipping point for many.

Story continues below advertisement

And yet, grandma always pulls it off. She gets it done with flawless precision year after year.

It's not by serendipity that she delivers the 'Christmas product' so magnificently, offering joy to those around her, and strengthening the family bond. Grandma's consistency is borne from the innate skills she possesses to produce a remarkable experience that is cherished and remembered by all who touch it.

"Christmas Grandma" is a leader pure and simple who has mastered the art of creating masterful memories in the face of pandemonium.

Leaders can learn these six lessons from her:

– Purposeful multi tasking is necessary in a "Code Black" environment; when the time available is woefully short of the demands made on you. She has learned that a sequential approach may be neat and tidy but it doesn't accomplish what is needed in the precious time available.

– Be busy but always with the end goal in mind. Her eye is always on the end game: to deliver an amazing experience for every family member. Run if you have to, but be sure you are heading in your chosen direction.

– A back up plan is necessary for successful execution. Her Plan B list is always ready when friends or family change their mind on a gift suggestion or when stores run out of the gift she wants. Your goal is in jeopardy if Plan A is all you have because it never works out the way you originally intended.

Story continues below advertisement

– Delegate non-critical tasks. Her personal fingerprints are all over the essentials necessary to deliver a memorable experience; they never get handed off to anyone else. But the work that is not mission critical goes to others under her watchful eye. She demands regular progress reports and that action be taken to remedy anything that is off track.

– Exploit yourself. Endure the pain necessary to meet your goal. Exhaustion seems to light her fire to deliver Christmas. It's unacceptable to complain how tough and stressful it is; the only thing that matters is the result.

Conduct research on the run. Look for gift clues constantly; don't delay until the season is upon you. Grandma is always in the "continuous family learning" mode to gather a continuous stream of wishes and to avoid having to binge buy at the last moment.

Grandma doesn't need a scholarly understanding of event marketing or the theory of leadership.

Her pedigree is defined by the results she consistently achieves; architecting and delivering emotional experiences which are fondly remembered in glowing terms by all around her.

Is that not the mark of a remarkable leader?

Story continues below advertisement

Roy Osing (@RoyOsing), former executive vice-president of Telus, is a blogger, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series, Be Different or Be Dead.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies