(A Change Management Article)
"Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please to put a penny in the old man's hat
If you haven't got a penny, a ha-penny will do
If you haven't got a ha-penny then God bless you"
Several years ago, a group of world-renowned leadership coaches put together some solid advice for us during this season. This nursery rhyme turned folk song was sung by John Denver and the Muppets over forty years ago. Truthfully, the Muppets weren't well known as leadership coaches, but their musical entertainment provides guidance that leaders should use in our communities. I want to break down each section of lyrics of the old nursery rhyme and show how it applies to each of us. There is no better season than Christmas to reexamine our leadership.
"Christmas is coming"
Christmas celebrates the arrival of Jesus into our world. While you may not be a Christ-follower, His leadership example is worth studying.
Jesus arrived out of love. The motivation of love drove his behavior and interaction with the community. Instead of focusing on himself, his focus, his concern was for the people. He met them where they were and served them in their need, not His. He sacrificed himself to make the world a better place.
His arrival wasn't always welcome among other leaders, but the people in the streets, those who today we would equate to our associates and customers, loved and welcomed Him.
"The goose is getting fat"
It takes time to prepare for our Christmas feast. The goose doesn't get fat by itself. It has to be cared for and fed. As leaders, we nurture our organizations throughout the year. We care for our products and services, making them stronger, so they can be consumed with joy by those we serve.
"Please to put a penny in the old man's hat"
While Christmas is not the only time we should directly impact our community, the emphasis on gift-giving allows us an opportunity to ensure we are supporting those in our communities who need our help. Several ministries need help this season in my area of the country, including the local food banks, which are swamped with higher demand than usual.
"If you haven't got a penny, a ha-penny will do"
2020 has been a rough year. Our families have suffered professional, social, and personal setbacks. We have struggled with job loss and furloughs that impacted our finances. We have been isolated and shuttered, impacting our ability to interact and strengthen relationships with each other. And our families have been hurt. We have had our health challenged and lost loved ones. For some, we have experienced all three, suffering financial, relationship, and family trauma.
Maybe you don't have much. Perhaps your company or enterprise struggled this year. But take a look at what you do have as leaders. Maybe like the poem, it is financial, but perhaps it is time to serve or a listening ear. Take the opportunity this year to give back to the ministries around you. What gift are you giving of yourself this season?
"If you haven't got a ha-penny then God bless you!"
As we look back over the year, it is easy to see the pain and more challenging to see the blessings. But we've seen the sunrise and flowers grow. We've seen a baby's smile and the love of those near us. We've been able to make a difference in the lives of our customers and associates. And we have partnered to help those around us. Being away from the office has graced us with time to reflect on the blessings we've had.
For those struggling through this season of life, my heart goes out to you. This is my prayer for you this season: I pray that God Blesses You!
© 2020 Barry Robbins, Silver Bear Solutions
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Barry Robbins is an IT Executive with a strong record of success in transforming IT organizations by envisioning, developing, and implementing IT business solutions.