• Hyatt-Fennell Executive Search

Leadership Lessons from A Christmas Carol



“Scrooge” has become synonymous with a grumpy, miserly person who only cares about themselves. While few of us go to the extremes that Ebenezer Scrooge did, we can all pick up Scrooge-like traits if we’re not careful. This holiday season, we have three lessons from A Christmas Carol that will make this year more merry and meaningful for all of us:

Value employees. What Scrooge fails to see is that mistreating your employees is not actually good business. To have a thriving business, you must value your employees and they will invest in your mission. Valuing should not only be monetarily (though please don’t make them beg for more coal for the fire like poor Bob Cratchit had to), but through words and actions, including appropriate time off. Most of us will not have noble employees like Cratchit who will do quality work under such circumstances, nor should they have to.

Learn from your mistakes—and the mistakes of others. Jacob Marley appears to his former business partner to urge him to learn from the mistakes he’d made in his life. We don’t need a visit from a ghost to take to heart the positive examples and cautionary tales of those around us. Scrooge’s own metamorphosis shows us that it’s never too late to make a change.

Look beyond yourself. The end of Dickens’ tale shows a transformed Ebenezer Scrooge. He harnessed the power of reflection to realize how his choices had cut him off from the world around him, hurting himself and those in his life. When he took a hard look at his practices, he realized that his life would be more fulfilling if he was generous to those around him. That’s a lesson we can all take to heart, this time of year and beyond.