Like many of you, I am sure, we put our Christmas tree up last week. I tackle the outside of the house, and Heather, my wife, decorates the inside. As she was finishing up placing ornaments on the tree, I helped out with getting a few to the top areas of the tree. When we were finished, like always, I stepped back to take an approving look.

What I did next, I found myself doing every year. I just started looking at our ornaments. What I noticed is that every one of them has a backstory, and for some reason or another, I am proud they are on our tree. As always, it “got me to thinking…”

What if the ornaments on our trees represent the leadership that others see? Better yet, what story do they tell?

Here are a few thoughts I had…

This year I took a few pics of ornaments and sent them to my mom, asking, “You remember these?” And of course, she did. Ornaments have a way of connecting our lives and memories to days that do not exist anymore. However, they do continue to live in our hearts. That is what great leadership does; it connects and resonates in our hearts in a way that continues to touch others’ lives. This is a big deal for me and my life. I want to have leadership that has “connectivity” with others.

Almost every ornament on our tree, we can tell you where it came from or who gave it to us. Each one unique on its own. Some have been passed down multiple generations and are beginning to show age. But, like those and the other ornaments, they help to create a personality of our tree. Just like ornaments, our leadership has a personality. What is it saying about you?

You cannot lead based on a cookie-cutter approach. What you are missing out on is the authenticity of not only yourself but the leadership you are trying to provide. That is what an original ornament brings to a tree. More importantly, it is authentic to you for your own reasons. It definitely is not store-bought in a box.

When we decorate our Christmas trees, I believe it is as much for ourselves as it is for others, providing a meaningful reflection of moments that have touched our hearts. Each ornament hangs on our tree is purposedly placed there for no other reason than our own.

As we think about our leadership and Christmas tree ornaments, we want it to touch our hearts, have substance, create an emotional feeling that we can recall and want to have again, and most of all, feel its presence. That is what leadership should always do and what we as leaders should strive to provide.

If your leadership were an ornament, would someone place it on their family Christmas tree?


Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others

©2019 J Clay Norton

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