As a departure from the norm, this is an annual repost. Enjoy.
Ok. There, I said it. Not Happy Holidays or Great End of Year, but Merry Christmas. Today’s entry isn’t so much about leadership as much as it is about principle.
I love the fact that we live in a country where each person can worship the religion of his or her choice and that because I celebrate Christmas does not mean you should somehow not be able to celebrate Chanukah. In fact, one of my favorite memories was joining a past boss of mine and his family to celebrate a delightful Jewish holiday. But not for one second did he think I had become Jewish anymore than understanding the holiday of Ramadan would make me Muslim.
By the way, I also don’t care if Christ was born on December 25, January 14th or July 8th. None of that matters because I am celebrating an event that, to my faith, has so little to do with logistics and details that it’s totally unimportant to me. Was December 25th chosen because it allowed for an overlap between Christian and Pagan religions? Don’t care. Not Pagan. No wood sprites in my house. Sorry. But there is a Christmas tree and there are gifts for each other because we enjoy the time together.
And finally, to any atheist readers or colleagues that I have out there. I also value that I live in a land where you can discover your own journey as well. But here I have to say, this year’s atheist billboards are just a bit on the pitiful, desperate side in my opinion.
I’m pretty sure I can give you a lot more of an argument for celebrating God’s presence on earth than I can on the success of “reason.” Considering that I fail to see a universe appearing out of nowhere to be any more reasonable than a God-created existence, you’re not going to win this argument with me. I do think the billboard is pretty though. And I honestly feel blessed that we all have the right to express ourselves openly.
Here’s my point and in the end I guess it does relate to leadership after all. Because as a leader your values, you faith and your beliefs represent in large part who you are. You don’t need to sermonize or politicize your beliefs for personal or business gain, but pretending as if you are somehow neutral is not authentic either.
God has been great to me in every way and one of those ways is that I live in a society where I don’t have to say “Happy Holidays” because I’m afraid I will offend a non-Christian client or acquaintance. Perhaps I will offend somebody, but there are no laws that prevent me from expressing myself and no consequence besides that natural consequences of making somebody uncomfortable. If you have read my blog for the last couple of years you should realize by now that my Christian beliefs are woven into my leadership opinions and philosophy. My writing, coaching and other products are not often explicit about religious beliefs but they don’t hide them when they are relevant. The easy way to stay comfortable with me is, don’t hire me or read my stuff if you don’t like where it comes from. But, for all of you who feel the need to share your opinion with me about the foolishness of my faith…well don’t be surprised if I share my “foolishness” with you as well.
So, we’ll get back to the leadership topics that are the core of our discussion, but in the meantime I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed time of rest and gratitude for family and friends.