Merry Christmas!

Leadership Moment: Happy Holidays

I got a flurry of last-minute holiday greetings last week. Almost universally, they said things like, “Happy Holidays” or “Greetings this holiday season.” The challenge, of course, is that they waited until after Hanukkah was over, and most of the time, the accompanying imagery was quite evocative of Christmas. Receiving those messages, I felt that someone had heard the very basic of inclusion messages – don’t just wish one group a greeting! – and did only the very simplest of actions – scrubbed off Merry Christmas and replaced it with Happy Holidays.

Take the risk. Say Merry Christmas when you mean it, and follow that with Happy New Year. In 31 days, if you’re feeling nutty, you can wish the trees a happy birthday on Tu B’Shevat. But today (or yesterday, if you wisely weren’t reading email on Christmas), wish folks a Merry Christmas – have the leadership to meet them where they are. As a Jew, I’ll take less offense at that than at a faux-inclusive Happy Holidays.

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One Minute Pro Tip: Holiday Self-Care

For many, the holidays aren’t just a time to avoid work and celebrate a momentous season: they’re a period to spend intense moments with relatives, engage in difficult conversations with people you can’t really avoid, and scramble to finish up last-minute chores and tasks. In other words, they’re stressful and hard, even if you’re fortunate enough to be surrounded by family and friends.

Take one minute to ask what you need, and make a plan to get it. Maybe just a few minutes of quiet will recharge you. Perhaps you need some exercise. Maybe you want to go read some email (hah!). Figure out what you need, and go take the time before the holidays end to take care of yourself, before you end up back in the post-holiday routine.


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Chapter Cameo: Inclusion is the sum of countless everyday microinclusions.

Inclusion is in the public discourse a lot lately, usually in a negative light, as part of the trifecta of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” whose offices across academia and corporate settings have focused on moving inclusion away from some groups and toward other groups. Inclusive moments should rarely, if ever, come at the expense of one group; few organizations are at the point where they’re out of ways to help one group at very minimal costs.

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Leadership Q&A: The Naughty and Nice Lists

Leader Santa asks, There are a lot of people on my naughty list, and I’m trying to decide how I’m going to interact with them in the upcoming year. Should I make sure they really experience the full variety of coal in their stockings?

Well, Santa, I’m glad you asked. Before I dig in, how is Rudolph doing? I hope he’s feeling included up at the North Pole, and not just for being useful. And that’s a great segue into your question.

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