It’s holiday party time. If you’re an “official” leader, you need to pay attention to the natural laws of parties and leadership.
Natural Law 1: The party changes when you arrive. It changes again when you leave. What you see is not the real party. It’s “the party when you’re there.”
Natural Law 2: You’re still the boss. Do not suffer from the delusion that you’re just one of the team. You’re not. Everything you say or do will influence the people who work for you, just like every other day.
Natural Law 3: The people at the party would rather hang out with their friends and relax a bit than listen to speeches from you or anyone else. Let the party be their party. If you must speak, consider a two minute time limit. Thank people for their contributions this year, wish them a good time, and shut up.
Natural Law 4: The odds are high that at least one person who works for you will do something really stupid during the party. The odds go up with every alcoholic drink. Consider this a good reason to leave early.
Natural Law 5: You are not immune from Natural Law 4. An even better reason to leave early.
Bonus: If you leave early, you gain more time to spend with loved ones. Isn’t that what the season is all about?
Thank you for this great article!
These laws are so obvious but I can’t remember one single party from the time when I was still an employee without hours of speeches from the leaders.
The idea to leave early is good to consider, but that can also be a sign of being desinterested. Those parties are very good opportunities to learn something about the people beyond their roles and to build trust and powerful relationships.
As always there is a thin line to find :)
Thanks for the kind words, Nils. I agree that parties are a good opportunity to learn about the people, but I hope that’s going on every day. I’m for the early exit to prevent embarrassment of any kind to anyone.