A few years ago, I wrote in my blog that my three favorite Christmas shows are A Charlie Brown Christmas, Christmas Vacation, and A Christmas Story. I have written about the leadership of the first two in the past. So, to close the trifecta of shows here is the leadership I find in A Christmas Story… 


Don’t fall for gimmicks

The decoder… Ralphie waited on it to come in the mail. All excited and everything. When it did, a special code on that night’s Little Orphan Annie Radio Show… Ralphie locks himself in the bathroom, stressed out as the anxiety comes to the point of solving the clue… “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine,” it read. The Decoder Scene

To listen to Ralphie’s thoughts and see his face is where we all have been at some time or another. Wanting to believe something was the “real deal” or believing in someone who eventually showed their leadership was a gimmick. We might not know it until the last possible moment, but when we do, we throw it in the garbage. I bet that’s what Ralphie did with the decoder. Like many in leadership, all it is is an ad for a crummy commercial.

Keep dreaming

Ralphie takes many different approaches to getting his Red Rider BB Gun. From planting advertisements in his parent’s magazines, blurting it out at the table while eating, writing a school essay on it, and even telling Santa. Everyone responds the same, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” But somewhere, in all that, his dad made good (he had one when he was eight). The funny thing, though… they were all almost right. Ralphie’s Pursuit of the Red Rider BB gun

People are standing in line to destroy your dreams. It’s up to you if you let them. Your dreams might not work out or come to fruition when you want them to, but keep them from dying because you didn’t quit dreaming. 

Reward the people

It’s a major award. The classic leg lamp. A Statue. Front and center in the living room for all to see. The amber glow. Delivered in a box that spelled “Fragile.” It could be Italian; who knows? A major award. The Leg Lamp

People, by nature, love accolades. Find ways to acknowledge and give them credit. Let them be celebrated. It doesn’t even have to cost anything. Create something… you get the idea; just make sure it’s not lip service. It’s not always about the reward but the acknowledgment of a well-done job. 

Enough is enough

Ralphie, Randy, Flick, and Schwartz were constantly being bullied by Scut and Grover. Day after day, before and after school. The dread of going to school and coming home. Until… Ralphie had had enough. The whole gang and others were watching the unleashing of pure fear and hatred that had been bottled up explode. If Ralphie’s mom hadn’t come, he would still be hitting Scut Farkus. Ralphie’s Fight

No one likes a leadership bully. Contrary to popular belief, they are out there. They are the ones who are using gimmicks to fool you. Leadership bullies lead with fear until they cannot. Anyway… when people have had enough, they have had enough. At some point, they explode. Like Scut Farkus, they have a small following (Grover), and once they get hit, you really get to see how weak they are.  

A Christmas Story is a family favorite for us. We watch it right after Christmas Vacation on Thanksgiving night and whenever it’s on TV. We will find good or bad leadership if we watch shows close enough. 

At any time of the year, the key to leadership is to put others first. It should not take a Christmas season to make that happen. Let the Christmas spirit take hold of your leadership and let others know, see, and feel it. It should be the gift we give others. 

Next week will be my Christmas Thoughts 2022. 

Let’s go fight the good fight of leadership. Someone has to…

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2022 J Clay Norton

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