Christmas is a great time of the year to reflect on your leadership and discern how you can continue to improve in the upcoming year. In that spirit I offer:

A Servant Leader’s 12 Days of Christmas Leadership Lessons (+3 Bonus Days)

  1. On the First Day of Christmas the lesson is Servant Leadership. It is on this day that we celebrate the coming of the greatest Servant Leader of all time, Jesus Christ. It is Jesus that we model our leadership after.
  2. On the Second Day of Christmas the lesson is Build the Foundation. Insure Purpose, Vision, and Values are established and well understood. Jesus was crystal clear on his purpose on why he came to earth, his vision to save the world, and his values that he would model throughout his life. Pledge to live your life in 2016 on the foundation of your purpose, vision, and values.
  3. On the Third day of Christmas the lesson is Build Energy. Bring your best positive attitude to bear each day. A smile goes a long way! Lift people up in every interaction.
  4. On the Fourth Day of Christmas the lesson is Delegation. We need to assess the ability of our people, provide them the appropriate guidance, and allow them to do what they are capable of and trained for. Multiply people with leadership capability to spread a culture of servant leadership, just as Jesus illustrated in his life with his disciples.
  5. On the Fifth day of Christmas the lesson is Gratitude & Encouragement. Go out of your way to notice the great work and values that people are displaying, and let them know how much you appreciate it! We should also take time to be thankful for our blessings and most certainly the birth of our Savior.
  6. On the Sixth day of Christmas the lesson is Build Performance. Servant leaders insure they, and their team, are always moving north. Challenge yourself and your team to take it to another level. Status quo is not OK! Build a dream team; you cannot accomplish much on your own.
  7. On the Seventh Day of Christmas the lesson is to never stop Learning. As a leader, you must commit to your own personal growth and that means learning as much as you can. What are the last three books you have read? What books do you plan to read in 2016?
  8. On the Eighth Day of Christmas the lesson is to Clarify your Goals. If your goal is not written and it does not have a target day, it is not a goal! For 2016 write down the goals of highest priority and then take action on them. This will help make it your best year ever.
  9. On the Ninth Day of Christmas the lesson is Commitment. Are you committed to being a servant leader? Who have you brought into accountability with you to insure you get to where you want to go? Jesus was so committed that he went to the cross on our behalf.
  10. On the Tenth Day of Christmas the lesson is Build Relationships. By respecting people, listening to them, showing compassion, and building on their strengths you will take your relationships to another level.
  11. On the Eleventh day of Christmas the lesson is Love. The whole season of Christmas is about love. The Word became flesh by Jesus coming into this world to show us how to love. Dedicate yourself to living the 8 behaviors of love outlined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
  12. On the Twelfth Day of Christmas the lesson is to Build Character. Always work on building trust by aligning your actions with your words. Your leadership depends on your character. Find out from your people how you are doing, and make any necessary course correction.
  13. On the Thirteenth day of Christmas the lesson is Extreme Self Care. You cannot be an effective servant leader if you are not taking care of your self. Slow down, spend time in prayer and devotion, exercise, rest, and eat well. This is a direct request from God. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  14. On the Fourteenth Day of Christmas the lesson is Compassion. Remember that we should serve out of compassion, not out of duty. That is what servant leaders do. How will you compassionately serve others this New Year?
  15. On the Fifteenth Day of Christmas the lesson is Hope. Servant leaders provide hope for their followers. There was great hope with the coming of Jesus and that hope is still here today for His second coming. The best way to provide hope is to believe in people and help them achieve their dreams!

Wishing you PEACE in this season as we reflect on the Christ-child’s birth.

Mark Deterding

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom he favors.” Luke 2:13-14