Gary Allan Hertzberg, the American musician known professionally as Gary Allan, has a song line of “Let’s be naughty and save Santa the trip.“
For the “naughty or nice” standard, it’s a pretty good way to gauge behavior, and one for all of us (you too) to follow.
Exemplary behavior in one person – think Nelson Mandela – is rare. It’s also a something for us to emulate. If Mandela can do it maybe you and I can too.
And while we all have our crosses to bear – mine these days seems to be a lack of generosity of spirit that Mandela could help Arne Duncan and me learn regarding a very few whitebread over-entitled suburbanite people – that standard of “What Would Santa Say?” swiftly pulls you in the right direction.
When you fail to notice and follow that standard of doing the right thing – as opposed to the petty, the vicious, the awkward, or the pragmatic, you end up earning your lump or two of coal.
And if your behavior is really bad, as Bill Watterson wrote in Calvin and Hobbs, “After today, I’ll bet Santa take a shovel to the reindeer stalls to fill you stocking.“
So for your sake, be good this holiday season.
Santa would approve.
Life Back West is an occasional set of writings focused on ways people, teams and organizations can be both more effective (doing the right thing) and more efficient (doing the right thing well). More about executive, career and team / leadership coaching services can be found at the “About J. Mike Smith and Back West, Inc.” sidebar or the “Hire Me” tab. You can also read an online interview with me at WhoHub.