I’ve always been fascinated by situations where art imitates real life and right here is a perfect example, which links Christmas and business & personal development.
If you want to read about a serious piece of dodgy people management (bordering on potential litigation); a man all adrift with the world and himself; shown how to do it by three visionary experiences (and with a brilliant example of supportive team-building thrown in); and then the ultimate Christmas ‘shift’? These are all brilliantly described for your pleasure in a seasonal read of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.
Here, Dickens brings out all of these wonderful examples and takes us through the life of Scrooge, ending in an exemplary and joyful outcome for a guy whose life is changed for the better, forever (despite years and years of baggage).
From an opening of how not to treat your ‘team’ (‘You’ll be wanting a whole (Christmas) day (off) tomorrow, I suppose?’ – and I particularly like the image of the poor clerk keeping warm with a candle!); through the solitary Christmas Eve meal; surviving the initial appearance of Jacob Marley as his front door knocker (what is the light given out by a ‘bad lobster in a dark cellar’?), the reader then experiences Scrooge taken through great examples of coaching by visits from the three ‘ghosts’ – exploring, in turn, his lost childhood, an example of how to really motivate and celebrate with your team of employees (the wonderful ‘boss’ Fezziwig) – and an understanding of what you may miss in your life if you don’t act now. Spot the analogies for yourself in a read that will take you a mere afternoon by a cosy fire – maybe with some mulled wine thrown in!
And once you’ve considered this Dickens novel, how many other works of fiction could be considered part of the Coaches’ world?
I’ve found over the years, through my love of reading, that there are many people skills issues highlighted or to be construed from the world of fiction (not forgetting film – what brilliant management skills metaphors in ‘A Bugs Life’ or how to motivate an unruly bunch as Mel Gibson did in ‘Braveheart’, to name but a couple). In almost every book you read, or film you watch, if you look out for the broader context, there are riches to behold. Many of these are worth enjoying and where appropriate, sharing with colleagues and friends, just to put another angle on a situation.
Do have a break and enjoy ‘A Christmas Carol’ at this seasonal time of year – oh yes, and have a great holiday too!
Enjoy the book and feel free to let me know of any other examples you might care to share that I’d want to read myself!