Reflections for the Holiday Season

Earlier this month Woodstock Media Group joined with the nation in honoring veterans.  Many of my family members have served in the Armed Forces including my parents, my brother, and my son.  A few days ago, an article featuring Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel A. Dailey and his Top 10 leadership tips caught my attention.  These are great principles that can be applied in any organization.


With On-Hold Concepts, we believe everything we do will help your business grow by harnessing the power of engaging your captive audience.  That is why we exist, to help you better connect with your customers.  The following list is an adaptation of SMA Dailey’s principles that leaders at every level can reflect on through the Holiday Season and implement on a daily basis to help your organization thrive.

1.       Lead through actions, not by words.

It has been said that it’s not what you say, but how you say it.  That’s not completely accurate. Make sure what you say reinforces what you already put into practice. You don’t have to be perfect, but your team needs to see you participate.

2.       Think before you speak.

As a leader, your team will listen to you. If you have something informative to add – share it.  Sometimes it is wise to be silent, listen, and learn.

3.       If you have to remind everyone you are in charge, you probably aren’t.

The famous quote attributed to Margaret Thatcher comes to mind, ‘Power is like being a lady…if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.’  Pretty much says it all.

4.       Be informed.  Be consistent.

Take the time to do the research necessary.  Pontification is rarely helpful.  Also, learn to keep emotions in check. Jekyll and Hyde, no. Jekyll and Jekyll, yes.  Your team will respond well when they don’t have to wonder how you will.

5.       Have fun and maintain a positive outlook.

You are the barometer of any given situation. Whether the outlook is bright or challenging your team will look to you.  If you say, ‘one day we will look on this and laugh,’ why wait?  Laugh now.

6.       Be a respected leader. The ‘feared leader’ complex doesn’t work.

Team members should be looking to you for guidance, insight, and direction – not running the other way as you storm down the hall.  Become a mentor, not a punchline on

7.       Handle difficulty in person, not over digital media.

Speak face to face.  Avoid negative emails.  Think twice before you hit ‘send,’ then hit ‘delete’ instead.  Presume everything you email will be on Facebook, Twitter, and trending nationally.

8.       Being nervous is OK.

Whether you are a first time leader or seasoned executive, remember everyone gets nervous.  Nerves make you try harder and show that you care.  Find a mentor of your own who will help you navigate this season of your professional life.

9.       Expertise should be measured by relevance, not longevity.

If you think yourself to be the expert simply because you have been there the longest, it is time to rethink your position. Eric Hoffer wrote, ‘In times of change the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.’  Stay relevant.

10.   Remember you are just an employee.

That’s all.  No better than any other, but just one of them.  You may get paid a little more, but your job is to treat them fair, lead them well, and expect no more from them of which you expect from yourself.

At this time of year I would add one other tip; to be thankful.  Especially, it is important to give thanks for the little things.  The premise for the entire first Thanksgiving celebration was simple: they gave thanks to God that they were still alive after weathering a harsh winter.  It doesn’t get any more basic than that. Be thankful for your company, your boss, your team, and your clients - even the difficult ones. 

A spirit of thankfulness will help you implement each one of these tips.

Tom McTee, Super-Genius

Tom McTee