What would you think if you suddenly gained a hundred pounds, grew a bushy white beard, and noticed that your clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot? Either 2020 struck again or you’ve assumed the role of Santa Claus. If your belly begins to shake like a bowl full of jelly, well, you may not be able to blame that on the year from hell.
Hello, I’m Sean from Prime Concepts and I would like to welcome you back to day two of our 12 day Series, Do You See What I See? Business Lessons From Holiday classics. If you haven’t pieced it together yet, today we’re digging into one of my personal favorites, The Santa Clause, starring Tim Allen. A movie in which a regular Joe, Scott Calvin, usurps the ole’ Kris Kringle and finds himself legally obligated to take up his mantle.
What kind of business secrets are hidden within this Christmas staple. Well, let’s gain a few pounds, don our Santa suits and slide down into it….
Lesson 1: Always Include the Fine Print
As Scott stomps his way through the North Pole for the first time, proclaiming his opposition to becoming the next Kris Kringle, Bernard, Santa’s Head Elf, educates him on the Santa Clause. Not Santa Clause, but the Santa Clause. The fine print. That states that should an individual put on Santa’s suit, the wearer waives all rights to any previous identity and fully accepts the duties and responsibilities of Santa Claus. Try as he might, Scott cannot break the legally — or magically — binding contract, thus setting the rest of the movie in motion.
While it’s always a good idea to read the fine print… or at least scroll a bit slower before checking that accept box, I want to stress the importance of including the fine print. Now, we may not be lawyers here at Prime Concepts, but we are a team of character-driven marketers. And we believe It’s your responsibility to clearly communicate what your prospects are buying, signing up for, or committing to. If you want to save yourself a headache down the road and avoid overly frustrated customers, then make sure you put your customer first by providing the information they deserve when interacting with your brand. If your customers know what they signed up for, they’ll have a hard time denying their Liability.
Lesson 2: The Importance of a Contingency Plan
I’ve seen The Santa Clause at least a dozen times, and of all the miraculous, mystical, wonders the story reveals, I’m always blown away at the lack of turmoil in the North Pole when Scott first arrives. I mean, do you understand the gravity of this situation? Hours prior to this moment, Santa died. Dead. Kaput. 6 feet under! The man they have been working with for who knows how long, has suddenly been replaced by a stranger and… on Christmas Eve mind you. But when you look around, there’s not an ounce of despair anywhere to be seen. The machine keeps chugging along. It makes you wonder how often this happens?
While it’s impossible to have a plan for everything, having standard operating procedures ensures efficient, stress-free work. When your team knows what to do and how to do it when sh*t (ho ho ho!) hits the fan, everyone will be better off. When Santa fell off the roof, he left a card that said, “If something should happen to me, put on my suit; the reindeer will know what to do.” And sure enough, they did.
Lesson 3: Working Remotely Pays Off
Being Santa doesn’t come without its own set of responsibilities. While the holly jolly jingle may make it seem like a cheerful chore, the reality is checking a list once is time-consuming, not to mention twice. Can you imagine working through such a task in the chaos of Santa’s workshop? Me either. Thank goodness bernard sees the benefit of having Santa work from the comfort of his own home.
It’s no secret in 2020 that some work can be taken home, where you, or your employees, would be more productive allowing everyone to do their best work. So loosen the reins on your team if your area of work allows, and offer the freedom to work from home here and there. It can do wonders for morale and your culture. Just make sure your workspace allows for it.
Lesson 4: The Law of Resources
For the average participant, Christmas is a one-day event. The formula is simple, go to sleep, no presents, wake up, presents. Santa’s job is a breeze, what are we even paying him for. But the santa clause pulls back the curtain on the inner workings of Santa’s big day. It reveals the amount of blood, sweat, and hot chocolate that go into such a magical day. The formula’s not so simple is it?
The law of resources states that without adequate funding or proper utilization of resources, an idea, campaign, or dream will never get off the ground. Big ideas, with big payoffs, sometimes require a big investment.
Lesson 5: Initiate Change From the Bottom Up
Wanting to believe his North Pole adventure was all a dream, Scott returns to his everyday life, repeatedly rejecting the fact that he is the new Santa. However, his son Charlie never doubts, despite constant pushback from everyone around him. And Charlie is not the only one. The elves, reindeer, and rogue children all encourage and support him in his new role. (soccer game scene) Eventually, Scott embraces the undeniable reality that he is Santa Claus. And will be for the next sub-par sequels.
Change or the implementation of change doesn’t have to come from the top. If you surround yourself with good people, who have initiative and are empowered, change can be driven from the bottom up… even if the big man doesn’t have the vision. Scot Calvin only became Santa Claus through the support of his “team”. So make sure you have a culture that allows open collaboration in an effort to better you and your company. Only then will you start to see innovative ideas come to fruition.
Outro: The Santa Clause showed us a world in which the role of Jolly ol’ Saint Nick can be filled by anyone. Even you! As long as the previous Santa has died on your watch. More appropriately, it showed us business lessons everyone can use to be more successful, and, as a result, more jolly.
These are just a handful of the lessons I caught while rewatching The Santa Claus, but there are plenty more. Let me know what lessons you found in the comments below and remember – seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.
Whatever that means. See you next time!