The 12 Unicorn Habits of Christmas
The 12 days of Christmas are here, and there’s no time like the present to learn about the 12 remarkable traits of unicorn employees - those individuals who stand out in the workplace like the star on a Christmas tree. Enjoy this breakdown of the book, Be the Unicorn, and consider how you can become a unicorn before it’s time to set New Year’s resolutions.
Day 1: The Fast – Speed Wins:
In a world of on-demand everything, being fast and responsive sets the pace for success. Being fast is a skill you can learn, even if you’ve developed a reputation as the slow or late one. Make a habit of setting deadlines for yourself and prioritizing them, and your team will learn they can rely on you. By the end of the year, your old self will be a ghost of Christmas past.
Day 2: The Authentic – No Secrets, No Surprises:
Unicorn employees deliver on promises and embrace transparency. Authenticity is that raw honesty and connection you can’t get from computers, AI, or Google. In this rapidly changing world, to be authentic is to be irreplaceable. As you celebrate the holidays this year, bring your real self. Laugh from the heart, ask thoughtful questions, and work (and rest) well.
Day 3: The Agile – Embracing Change:
Unicorn employees adapt, flex, and approach challenges with an open mind. There’s no season of change like the holidays. With every opportunity you have, practice your ability to embrace change in your own mind, and let your words and actions reflect that. Be the first to adapt. Your sustained excitement amidst the change will keep the Christmas spirit alive for your team amid the chaos.
Day 4: The Solver – Solution-Driven Champions:
The Solvers refuse to be victims of their challenges. They channel their energy into overcoming obstacles. When inevitable problems arise in your master plan for a perfect Christmas, who are the heroes? With so many opportunities for unexpected problems, the holidays are a unique opportunity to stand out in work and life as a solver.
Day 5: The Anticipator – Thinking Ahead:
Unicorn employees anticipate the needs of their colleagues, bosses, and companies, staying steps ahead of the game. Christmas is the perfect time to demonstrate and exercise your anticipation skills, since similar problems arise this time every year. Take the extra step to review last year’s struggles and successes, and discuss what this year might look like. At this point, you should also consider what transitions your team might face with the new year.
Day 6: The Prepared – Luck Favors the Prepared:
Unicorn employees understand that luck happens to those who are prepared. Practice your preparation skills with all the festivities. With seemingly endless opportunities for decorations, gifts, meals, and more, you’ll be forced to practice prioritizing and delegating. By cultivating preparedness, you ready yourself to navigate next year’s uncertainties with confidence.
Day 7: The Self-Aware – Standing Out in the Crowd:
Unicorn employees know their strengths and weaknesses, tuning in to themselves amid a noisy crowd. The end of the year always stirs up reflections – what you do with those thoughts could set you apart. Push past the ambitious goal-setting or disappointing regrets from the year, and dig deep into your personal strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself how you can leverage your strengths, and what realistic ways you can overcome your weaknesses. Consider that one way to overcome your weakness is to delegate to someone on the team whose strengths complement yours. Bring a fresh perspective into the new year.
Day 8: The Curious – The Power of Listening:
The Curious ask more than they answer and genuinely engage with the world around them. They don’t just listen in conversations – they listen to The Anticipators’ warnings, to The Self-Aware’s needs, The Solver’s solutions, and so on. The Curious can be the glue that gets the team through the season. All that questioning and listening can make The Curious the most spatially and socially aware person in the room.
Day 9: The Connected – Intentional Friendships:
In a world that often prioritizes digital connections, unicorn employees understand the value of real friendships. Building intentional connections that elevate life is a lost art, yet it’s key to both success and happiness. That’s what time off and holiday celebrations are for – maintaining those deep connections we have. Seek meaningful connections at work parties and throughout the hustle, then rest well with family and friends.
Day 10: The Likable – Relational Equity:
While brilliance alone can't sustain success, being likable can. This holiday season, embody the act of gift-giving with a selfless mindset. Push yourself to ask and listen more than you speak. Allow yourself to let loose and laugh with others. And, yes, give generously. The likable personalities on the team have the power to initiate memorable experiences for your team that mark the holiday season as a cheerful time.
Day 11: The Productive – Shining Brighter:
Time is a precious resource, and unicorn employees make every moment count. Productivity can be a challenge for any employee when there’s so much to juggle between business and festivities. You might stay focused and active all day, yet struggle to reach the productivity goals you need to keep up with it all. Start your day by listing your tasks in order of importance and urgency. Start at the top, and work your way down. Consider what times of the day your energy and focus peak. Use these times for your most important tasks, and leave the most tired parts of the day for breaks that restore your mind. Get into a steady workflow this season, and set up permanent rhythms that’ll save you time in 2024.
Day 12: The Purpose-Driven – Keys to Success:
Unicorn employees understand their "why." Most importantly, we all need to remember the purpose of Christmas. We preach, teach, and dramatize the birth of Jesus, but no one can force you to personally sit in the stillness of that truth. Do not settle for a Christmas reduced to gift-giving, church services, and story-telling. While these are all good things, Christmas is nothing without the personal reminder of Jesus’ coming. Rest in the purpose of Christmas this year, and rest in the purpose He gives us to share the good news.
You can learn more about the importance of unicorn employees and how to become one with your own copy of the book to read over the holidays. Grab an extra copy or two as Christmas gifts for the avid readers in your life.
If you’re hoping to grow your efficacy as a Unicorn employee with goals and resolutions, any of the 12 traits is a good place to start. Focus on one trait that is holding you back, or focus on developing an existing strength. Either way, you can transform your work habits one step at a time, transforming yourself into an irreplaceable member of your team.