Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town


Out of the hundreds of renditions of this song through the years, it is Bruce Springsteen’s raspy vocals and Clarence Clemons’ powerful saxophone that makes this 1985 live recording one my favorite holiday classics. Please ignore the weirdness of a complete stranger seeing you while you sleep, knowing when you are awake - and just happens to have perfect recall for every moment you’ve misbehaved. If you spend too much time thinking about it, the song loses its holiday flair and sounds a little creepy.

What I like about this song is that Santa, who has been at the top of his game for a while now, still takes the time every year to make a list, and then checks it twice.  As a business owner, it is important to sweat the details. It does not matter that you are number one in your field, and your closest competitor has an inconsequential share of the marketplace right now. Forward momentum in business or in life is a conscious choice – it doesn’t just happen.  However, complacency does.

Leonardo da Vinci put it this way, ‘Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.’  Lesser minds have summed up his words more simplistically: Use it or lose it.  Many industry-leading companies have watched their market share erode, only to be eclipsed by competition that, in their mind, was merely an after-thought.

Motorola was a company built on a culture of non-stop technical innovation. They were personified as the monolith of the cellular phone industry.  Unfortunately over the course of their success, technical innovation gave way to internal turf wars.  By the mid 1990’s they were still the leader in analog cellular technology and the competition was nothing more than a speck in their rear-view mirror. But it was not to last.  An upstart Finnish company named Nokia began focusing their efforts on a new digital cellular platform. Nokia surpassed Motorola in 1997 and dominated the industry for the next 15 years.

Now, the Motorola brand is nothing but an after-thought.  

So, you better not pout; better not cry. Better not grow complacent, I’m telling you why...  Instead, focus on learning, growing, and developing your business - with an ear to the ground and a keen eye on the horizon. Follow Santa’s example and make a list of goals and objectives to keep your business on track every year. Check and double-check that list against industry trends.  And remember one important detail that gets overlooked is on-hold advertising. Move it to the top of your list this year!

When it came to the cellular technology game, Motorola knew everything about it – since they literally invented the industry.  Yet, today they have zero influence on the market.  The legendary basketball coach of UCLA, John Wooden said it best. ‘It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.’

Here’s to your continued success in business and in life.

Happy Holidays!

Tom McTee, Super-Genius

Tom McTee