The greatest challenge of the holiday season isn’t the preparations or frenetic activity of the celebrations themselves.
The greatest challenge is keeping the spirit of the season alive after the celebration ends.
Most of us know the let down that so often occurs after the first of the New Year. Resolutions are made and quickly broken. With no immediate holidays in the near future, a fatigue of the spirit can set in. We resign ourselves to a temporary elevation of the spirit.
It doesn’t need to be that way.
Some are able to exhibit the compassion, appreciation and joy of the season throughout the year.
How do they do it? And how do leaders keep the spirit of an organization’s culture and values alive long after the kick off or launch?
My observation is that those who do best at keeping the spirit alive–whether of a faith, holiday, belief or even a corporate culture–do three things: they remember, remind and rehearse.
Remember what you want to retain. It sounds so simple and is so hard to do. How many times have you slapped yourself on the forehead and said, “I knew that!” Yet somehow you temporarily forgot.
Have you clarified exactly what the spirit is that you want to keep alive? You can’t remember what you never knew to begin with. Summarize the key values and behaviors you want to remember. Write down key phrases where you’ll see them often. Reflect on those things frequently and etch them into your memory.
Remind others of what you want is important. An excellent call center manager constantly reminds her team about the importance of extraordinary service. A top-notch sales manager doesn’t quit
talking about and demonstrating what was taught in the sales training course. A good parent looks for teachable moments to remind children of important lessons.
Of course there is an additional benefit: reminding others helps you remember as well.
Rehearse the behaviors of the spirit you embrace. A great actor rehearses his or her lines until they are delivered with perfection. There is no substitute for doing. Almost everyone knows what is good, right or important but leaders are those who act on their knowledge. Have you considered what you can do each day to demonstrate the spirit you value? Let your behavior be a witness for your words
Don’t let the spirit of any important seasons or event evaporate. Remember, remind and rehearse to keep the important messages and themes of significant events alive long after they are over.