Monthly Archives: December 2012

Christmas Poem for Leaders by Mary Luttrell

The Christmas poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore, is not only one of the most well known and beloved poems in the English language, it is also one of the most parodied. And so today I add my version to the list of parodies, written especially to celebrate leaders.
I send this as a gift to you ~ I hope you enjoy it!

by Mary Luttrell

Christmas Day is finally here, and throughout every town
Most of us have the day off, our computers are down.
We’ve hustled and bustled to wrap up the year,
So now is a good time to breathe, sigh and cheer.

We’ve done what we could with these 52 weeks,
Some gains and some losses, some valleys and peaks.
If we gave it our best, what more could be done?
There’s no guarantee in this game that we run.

The reports are completed, the data is in.
It’s been quite a year, both the thick and the thin.
We’ve agonized, criticized, analyzed, itemized.
We’ve calculated and forecast, missed the mark and surpassed.

We’ve been surprised and relieved, elated and downcast.
Will the future be better? Could we go back to the past?
(This is not what I pictured when I was in school.
I thought being the boss would be really cool.)

It seems being a good leader is not for faint hearts.
It takes great patience and skill. (They call it an art.)
I know I’ll never get bored at this job that I do,
There’s always something to learn, something that’s new.

And I will state here and now what really is true,
The important stuff happens between me and you.
It’s the work one to one and then as a team
That makes it all joyful and makes our eyes gleam.

Old St. Nick sent me a text; he’s just passing through.
He said: “Keep up the good work; I’ve got faith in you.
It may be hard at times, but hold to your dreams!
(Don’t forget about my list, if you know what I mean.)

Yes, good leaders are still needed, and now more than ever.
Lift up yourself and your team, and all work together.
Bringing good things to the world will take all of us.
Let’s always remember we’re on the same bus.”

With all good wishes for your health and happiness,

#153 – Opportunities Abound for True Leadership

True leadership comes from a person’s actions, not their title or place on the organization chart. In my book, simply having power and authority does not constitute true leadership. Although the word leadership is a noun, it’s the action verbs that make it manifest. It’s what you do that makes you a leader. I include speaking as part of “doing,” and that calls forth the principle of walking your talk.

Food for Thought ~

With that premise, I believe true leadership can be demonstrated by anyone, at any time, anywhere, in any organization. (And even without an organization, although that’s generally more difficult.) Leadership is available to people who are willing to step forward, take responsibility, express important ideas, values, and aspirations, represent and give voice to others in the organization, and follow through with constructive actions. No matter your role, status, seniority, etc., you can become a leader by conducting yourself as a leader.

Question for the day ~

What opportunities exist for you to assume a leadership role? Does your conduct demonstrate true leadership?


#152 – Pay it Forward

In my newsletter last week I featured the subject of mentoring. My underlying theme was that mentoring can be an extremely valuable type of professional development. A mentor can serve as an additional resource to formal work relationships. Sometimes, encouragement and support are needed. Other times, a person might need information, reality-testing, or contacts. Other situations might call for problem-solving and planning. And these are just a few of the classic issues. Mentors can be a wonderful resource for people, greatly enriching their professional education and growth.

Food for Thought ~

From my experience as a mentor, both as part of my consulting work with clients and as a volunteer, mentoring helps people be more successful and more satisfied in their work. They become more effective and better able to achieve their goals. My hope is that people who have a good mentoring experience are more likely to become mentors themselves, and thus a positive cycle is continued. It’s a good example of the “pay it forward” philosophy. Although there is much goodness in this world, it’s also tough out there, and most of us need all the help we can get. Mentoring is one of the ways we can lend a helping hand to someone who’s motivated and willing to work for what they want.

Question for the day ~

Have you been fortunate enough to have a mentor? Are you a mentor?

If you are in business and would like to explore the possibility of becoming a mentor through the SSU School of Business and Economics Mentor Program, please contact me for information. Call me at 707- 887-2256. I look forward to talking with you about the rewards of mentoring.