Leadership in the Movies – The Santa Clause

One of my favorite holiday movies is The Santa Clause, starring Tim Allen from 1994. Sure, it may be generational, but it is the first film that crosses my mind when I think of Santa! (Right now, the movie is streaming on Disney+ and Amazon Prime for sure). 

What did I get myself into here?

Remember the scene when Scott Calvin, played by Tim Allen, runs outside in his winter coat and shorts after hearing something on the roof. Scott yells, Santa falls, and Charlie (Scott’s son) comes running out too. 

As the scene continues, Scott finds a business card in big print saying to put the suit on – so he does. He follows Charlie up the ladder, to the roof, and off they go with the reindeer to finish delivering the presents throughout the night.

Fast forward, and the reindeer have returned the sleigh (including Scott & Charlie) to the North Pole, where Scott finds out he didn’t read the small print on the business card. In fact, by putting on the suit, he assumed the role and responsibilities of Santa – due to The Santa Clause listed on the business card.  

  • Have you ever accepted a position and quickly found it was not what you thought it was?
  • Think of a time you ruminated on the classic – what did I get myself into here?

Bernard breaks the news to Scott that he has ’11 months to get your affairs in order and be back by Thanksgiving!’ 

Our decisions have consequences for our future.

In a split-second decision on Scott’s front yard, a single action spurred on consequences for the rest of his life. At that moment, he went from Scott Calvin to Santa Clause with no way of reversing the decision or changing the past.

  • Can you recall a single moment in your career that drastically changed your trajectory?
  • Looking forward, is there a decision you’ve been postponing that may lead you to a better future?

Unlike Scott, we can’t become Santa by merely putting on a suit. But maybe you’ve fallen for a bait and switch situation when it came to a new position or new project – and felt trapped for some time.

Unlike Scott, you might have left the situation or moved to a position that was a better fit for your life goals. But, 

A New Year Ahead

Maybe you feel like Scott (you know, before he enjoyed being Santa), locked into a position or situation that does not feel like a good fit for you. Unlike Scott, you aren’t Santa! Spend time reflecting on steps you may be able to take to move past your current situation.

As 2020 has taught the world, a lot can happen in a year! How will you use 2021 to make strategic decisions to evolve past your current situation?

What about your organization?