Monica Wofford, CSP, is a professional speaker and CEO of Contagious Companies, a training and consulting firm that develops better leaders and trains managers how to become better leaders. Her Monday Moment has been a popular leadership learning tool since 2006!

As a leader, you still want to be yourself even if you’re busier than a Christmas elf.

While leading is not the reason for the season, those you lead need the real you now more than ever. Authenticity is an important part of your leadership skills and whether you’re a Drucker fan, Buckingham-ed, Maxwell-ian , a Servant, Situational or Contagious Leader, the key is to be yourself….even when you feel busier than a Christmas elf. But why this time of year more than another? These three reasons will explain why your own unique authentic style of leading might be just what they need this season.

Some May Escape at the Workplace

We’d love to believe that everyone is eager for the arrival of Christmas Eve. However, for many employees the world outside those office doors is filled with mayhem and moods, loud crowds, tempting foods, commercials of the way it “should” be and a bunch of feelings that aren’t so bright and cheery. The holidays can be a challenging time for more than you might think and a degree of normalcy at the office, where things stay real, can be just what they need to reduce their own stress level.

Too Many Distractions Around

With more distractions than lights on the trees and more events per week than candles in the menorah, it’s likely your normal directions will be met with “it was nice knowin’ ya” come mid-November. They won’t mean to ignore you, but the truth is something shiny syndrome lives for this time of year!  Avoid the temptation to get frustrated as things wind down or even get crazy and they lose focus. Take this time to clarify what is expected, be explicit about what you need and show them know just how well you really lead.

Routine is Turned Upside Down

During the holiday season, no matter which one you celebrate or what parties in which the office chooses to participate, employee routines change and normal tends to take a break. Tasks get pushed to next year, people start sharing the arrival of what relatives they fear and for which they will cheer, and what you once thought would get accomplished now, shows up in January as if you’ve no idea how. Employees may appreciate a bit of normal right now.

With presents to buy, mall trips to make, and cookies to bake, so much goes on this time of year that adds fun, but also potential stress to the workplace. Employees won’t have the energy to read between the lines or figure out what you meant this time. They need you to be real, authentic and true and bring the real you to the office and their team. It gives some stability and provides a refuge of normalcy that disappears as the holidays draw near.

Not only do they need you to be real and a real good leader this time of year, they need your help in navigating the more delicate issues that crop up between now and the end of December. Be sure to catch the Monday Moment on November 24 for your copy of The Workplace Leader’s Comprehensive (and Humorous) Guide to Office Holiday Survival.

I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!

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