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.
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.
– 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?
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.