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Naked Leader Week 853 – 23 December 2019

Time to Read: Time stands still for Father Christmas



This month’s Leader Feature is a guest contribution from the man of the moment – Father Christmas:

Ho-Ho-Ho Naked Leader Readers! Merry Christmas one and all!

I’m looking forward to 2020. Lots of exciting developments…The North Pole will be negotiating a great new trade deal with the UK. We will be investing in driverless sleighs. And we’re continuing trials with Rudolf the Robot Reindeer.

2019 hasn’t been straightforward. We have received lots of letters with names and addresses, but got in a bit of a muddle with our GDPR policy. But we’re pleased to hear that all chimneys will be carbon-free by 2050.

We’ve been working on updating our image. “Father Christmas” sounds a little dated, doesn’t it? The branding agency came up with, “Non-Binary Appropriate Midwinter Authority Figure”. It’s with focus groups now, though my favourite alternative was “Strictly Santa”. My wife prefers, “Banter Claus”.

I am getting on a bit now but my children don’t seem interested in taking over the family business. My son wants to be a spy. Already we have to call him Agent Ho-Ho-Seven. My daughter is a tech entrepreneur. She thinks we should overhaul our entire business model. The future is not in actual products but in digital subscription services. So we’ll no longer deliver physical presents but just send WhatsApp messages to the 3-D printers of premium subscribers. She wants to call us Cyber Claus.

She’s talking to Microsoft about a festive version of their digital assistant, Cortana. We’ll call it Santana.

I’ve been asked to give suggestions for what gifts for various job titles:-


How about some executive coaching with me? Somebody with global experience of running a complicated supply chain in real time…

An IT director:

I know a lot of IT directors are getting stressed about the cloud and storage etc. I know all about the Cloud. I travel through it all the time. So give your IT director a copy of my daughter’s e-book, “Big Data, Santalytics and Claus-based Solutions”.

A finance director

At this festive time, Finance directors’ thoughts turn to the year just gone – a write-off here, an expensive employment claim there. But I feel for you. Every January, I look at our Profit & Loss columns and realise that, once again, we failed to charge a single one of our customers anything. So here is a poem for you.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a dubious benefit-in-kind illegally enjoyed by a spouse;

The spreadsheets were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that the auditors soon would be there;

The other directors were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of big (paper) profits danced in their heads…

An HR director

Actually I would like a gift from an HR Director – help with “people issues” with the elves and the reindeer. They don’t fill in time sheets properly. They don’t like “hot sledding” especially as we will be off-shoring some processes with presents- wrapping and sourcing. The reindeer just want longer holidays. I think 364 days is enough, don’t you? (And it’s 365 days off in a leap year!)

General employee:

How about a bucket-load of patience to prepare for all the change programmes and org re-designs they will have to put up with next year?

Thank you dear Father Christmas (AKA Neil Mullarkey, friend of Naked Leader and communication expert and author and founder of improv troupe the Comedy Store Players)

(Neil’s book is now available on Kindle and his website is 

With my love and very best wishes




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