Christmas is Not Over

Transformational Strategist

Not everything that counts can be counted…
Not everything that can be counted counts.

– Albert Einstein

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
– Aristotle



Sometimes when we think that it’s over, it’s really still in process…


In our culture, we cue up to the Christmas holiday around Thanksgiving, and it comes to a climax on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Then we drop it, getting ready to celebrate the New Year’s beginning.

Well, wait…

There’s another culture. The culture of the Christian church is that Christmas begins on Christmas Eve, and the season of Christmas goes for 12 days until the Celebration of Epiphany. Epiphany means several things in different contexts. In the Christian liturgical year, it’s the celebration of the arrival of the Magi at the manger. They arrived, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These were elegant gifts for a newborn baby.

In our rush to meet deadlines, to finish projects, to be sure that we gifted everyone on our lists, and to create meaning in life, we forget that it’s not over. The celebration continues…and then there’s an epiphany.

As leaders, we focus on events. It’s usually the next event, project, or completion date. Commonly, we are in a process which might be a sequence of events that are related or that build momentum in sequence. We are impacting the vision over a period of time, not in single events.

I like the focus on the liturgical calendar which gives me perspective on my personal life. This calendar is a related sequence of events that move life forward, and provide meaning and context for living throughout the year.

Is there a sequence or context to the plan for the organization you lead? Is there a pattern for moving forward? Is there a symphony for success where everyone related to the organization has a part to play at the correct time? Are the movements orchestrated so that they make sense to everyone concerned?

As leaders, we learn some of the essential things that empower us to success outside of our particular discipline or culture. Seeking perspective on our business, nonprofit, or church might mean that we look to a different kind of organization for wisdom.

The Christian liturgical year began four weeks ago with the beginning of Advent. The calendar year begins next week with January 2013. Your business, church, or nonprofit might be in the middle of a fiscal year which began months ago.

There’s not one answer to starting a new year – it depends on the context for the new year.

We’re not done with Christmas. It’s only half-done. The journey continues.

Your organization thinks that it will reset the clock on January 1, and set new standards and new goals (New Year’s Resolutions, etc.) for a fresh start. Our journey, as leaders influencing others, is to place our work in the context of a process – a journey. The Transformational Leader transforms vision into reality, transforms organizations, transforms people’s lives and, first of all, transforms ourselves. Not by force, but by personal influence. As we function on a higher level, we influence others by our behavior, actions, and ethics.

Sometimes, when we think things are over, we might not have the big picture in mind. It’s the leader’s role to have the vision in mind at all times, while leading the process which includes the details of engagement.

Transformation is the process. Transformation happens over time.

Make a journal entry that today is the day to continue the Christmas celebration. Let that remind you to celebrate the other journeys in life, as well.


Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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(c) 2012 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.




Hugh Ballou (Author)