The Nightmare Before Christmas

Topics: Leadership, Christmas, Santa Claus Pages: 6 (1930 words) Published: May 27, 2012
The Nightmare before Christmas

The Plot
Halloweentown is a fantasy land overflowing with ghosts, vampires, and witches. Jack is the leader of this town and is known as the “Pumpkin King”. Jack realizes he has grown tired of the same routine, and is faced with an identity crisis. As Jack wonders through the forest he stumbles upon a doorway to Christmastown, he is impressed by the excitement and feeling of Christmas. Jack shows Halloweentown what he has found and tries to explain Christmas. He decides to take over Christmas by getting the residents of Halloweentown to follow through with his plan. Part of his plan is to get the kid trio to kidnap “Sandy Claws’’. Sally has a horrible premonition that Jack’s Christmas is going to go all wrong, but Jack ignores her warnings. Jack and his ghost dog Zero take off in his sleigh to deliver presents to children on Christmas Eve. When police are alerted about the scary gifts being delivered the military shoot him down. Jack realizes the predicament he has gotten himself into, and races back to Halloweentown to save Santa. Santa saves Christmas in the nick of time and leaves with no hard feelings.

Issues from Jack’s Perspective
Jack has guided his followers to yet another successful and frightful year of Halloween. However, after years of organizing Halloweens, he finds himself bored with the old routine and feels as though he needs new inspiration. Jack finds himself inspired by the sights and sounds of Christmas and embraces the change he finds in Christmastown. He focuses on symbols of Christmas without knowing their meaning. However, Jack finds it difficult to come up with definitions for these symbols. His followers are unfamiliar with these ideas of peace, joy and happiness. Jack has an abstract definition that he has learnt through books, but he never gets a chance to live and experience the meaning of Christmas. This leaves him with an unclear vision, and therefore an unclear mission statement. Since Jack cannot clearly articulate his vision his followers then stray from the original vision. Jack doesn’t differentiate between the core values of Christmas and the core values of Halloween. These shifts require a new strategic direction, new culture, new values and new purposes. Jack would need to fully understand the essence of Christmas and seek out expert advice. One option would be to job shadow Santa Clause to show him the core values of Christmas. This would allow for Jack to gain knowledge and insight for what is involved in celebrating Christmas.

Unfortunately, what Jack doesn’t realize is that his true talent lies in his dark charismatic side which offer frightening, and spooky services to the Halloweentown residents. Sally tries to show him his true self as the Pumpkin King, but the charismatic leader is blindsided. Jack needs to acknowledge that he excels in the darker competencies and should take efforts to further these skills, by building on what he knows to achieve more within his skill set. Basic issues

The Nightmare before Christmas demonstrates a wide range of leadership concepts. Jack`s attempt to takeover Christmas fails because he was lacking three main concepts; change management, leadership and an articulated vision. Jack needs to create a sense of urgency by taking the steps to manage a successful change also known as change management. Jack prepared for change in overtaking the holiday by making plans to improve Christmas. Unfortunately, he did not prepare his team effectively. He never fully demonstrated his vision to the team because to understand Christmas you need to experience it. Since the team was void that experienced they made products, and services that were freakish, eerie, and odd. Jack’s error was attempting to implement cultural ideas without having the team fully understand this new strategic direction. Jack needed to take a step back and acknowledge the direction of the organization. If he had done so he might have...
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