Ebenezer Scrooge was a greedy, cold, mean-spirited leader, but his business was profitable, and he was very wealthy. He was disrespectful, dishonest, and unfair to Bob Cratchit, yet Cratchit continued to remain engaged, committed, trustworthy, and loyal to his employer.
When I think about Charles Dickens’s "A Christmas Carol," the leader/employee experience part of the story is what makes it a true fairy tale as it’s much harder to believe than the part about the three flying ghosts.
While on a bad leadership day we might fantasize about searching the web to find the recruiter with a roster of Bob Cratchits, but we all know better.
So, what can we do as leaders to avoid a ghost intervention?
How about making a New Year’s resolution to listen more deeply? How about breathing slowly and focusing on listening while others talk? How about taking a leap of faith that no matter who a person is, what a person is, or what they do in our organization, they can help us more if we really listen and try harder to understand their perspective—the ultimate respectful act.
If we all do this better, perhaps we can spend our holiday of choice at home with our families and friends and we don’t have to deliver turkeys to our employees after a night of no sleep.
My holiday present to you is a little something I got to do that involves listening, and it’s only four minutes long.
Finally, as Tiny Tim would say, "God (or whatever you believe in) bless us everyone."
Michael C. Bush
Great Place to Work