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Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

THE QUESTION

How Does Santa Stack Up as a Leader?

Is the always-jolly pose authentic and still credible with customers and elves? Was it a mistake to favor Rudolph with that promotion? Has success led him to cling too long to a vertically integrated business model? Is the naughty-nice evaluation system too inflexible?

Posted by Ben Bradlee and Steve Pearlstein on December 22, 2008 11:00 AM
FROM THE PANEL
Marshall Goldsmith

An Accepting Boss

Let's face it - we have all been a little naughty and Santa has still come through for us!

Posted by Marshall Goldsmith, on December 23, 2008 3:34 PM

The Mrs. Claus Factor

Santa reports to Mrs. Claus, a collaborative leader and abstract thinker who continues to teach him everything he knows about leading through networks, infectious laughter, generosity and the power of love.

Posted by Patricia McGinnis, on December 23, 2008 11:37 AM
Michael Maccoby

Piloting His Own Sled

Santa is a model for CEOs. Not only does he inspire hardworking employees and happy customers while promoting niceness, but he also turns down the corporate jet in favor of doing the hard flying work himself.

Posted by Michael Maccoby, on December 23, 2008 11:22 AM

Regulation-Free Leadership

Is Santa FAA-licensed? Do his elves wear safety goggles? Free of regulation, Santa gets the job done.

Posted by Norm R. Augustine, on December 22, 2008 2:33 PM

The Failed Leader We Love

A cartoonish micro-manager who exploits his employees, Santa makes all the wrong leadership moves -- and yet we still value and love him.

Posted by Michael Useem, on December 22, 2008 11:11 AM
Roger Martin

Santa in the Knowledge Economy

Today's economy requires a collegial, supportive work environment. A workplace where colleagues laugh and call a co-worker names, while excluding him from "other reindeer games," just won't cut it.

Posted by Roger Martin, on December 22, 2008 11:04 AM
Abraham Zaleznik

Santa in Sad Times

With the sad state of the economy, even Santa doesn't have a chance.

Posted by Abraham Zaleznik, on December 22, 2008 10:51 AM
Warren Bennis

Santa's Leadership Essentials

Santa has the magic quality no great leader can do without.

Posted by Warren Bennis, on December 22, 2008 10:36 AM
Walter F. Ulmer, Jr.

Santa Has It Figured Out

Forget about all the process details. He always delivers!

Posted by Walter F. Ulmer, Jr., on December 22, 2008 10:33 AM
John H. Cochran, MD

A Level 5 Leader

Santa demonstrates an "unwavering resolve to do whatever must be done to produce the best long-term results, no matter how difficult."

Posted by John H. Cochran, MD, on December 22, 2008 10:29 AM

Santa for CEO

Santa is the leader we need: He's contagiously happy, he keeps it simple, and he knows that quality matters.

Posted by Jeffrey Pfeffer, on December 22, 2008 10:12 AM

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FEATURED COMMENTS

kengelhart: It is interesting that all of the "select" comments listed here are from old white males. I think this tells us something about what consti...

truthhurts: Santa Clause has demonstrated the principles of "In Search of Excellence" because year after year after year, he has delivered with exactin...

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