Kids everywhere will soon wake up with smiles on their faces after a silent visit from Santa Claus. Behind the scenes, though, it is anything but quiet. For Santa to pull off such an impossible feat, extraordinary leadership is required. Any leader can benefit from these 10 important leadership characteristics displayed by Santa.

  1. Ask for feedback. Santa could never get it right if he didn't ask others for feedback.
  2. Spot trends. Santa has to be ready with enough of the trendiest gifts, which requires scanning to identify these early.
  3. Know your customer. Santa goes around and constantly speaks to his customers to ask them directly what they want; he even receives "wish lists" from them.
  4. Be prepared. Santa must be ready for anything; delivering millions of gifts in one night requires great planning.
  5. Empower others. Santa could never do this alone; he must unleash thousands of elves and other helpers to pull off the big night.
  6. Find hidden talent. Santa understands that help can come from unexpected places and he takes chances on others (think Rudolph).
  7. Build relationships: Santa recognizes the power of trust and people believe in him; he never steps meeting people and networking.
  8. Teamwork. Santa needs extreme coordination and cooperation from everyone working together.
  9. Build your brand. Santa is a one-name phenomenon (think Oprah, Madonna, Pele) and protects and extends his brand every year.
  10. Motivate and recognize others: Santa knows how hard everyone works, and must motivate and recognize them for their great work.