Three Leadership Lessons from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Doug Dickerson on Leadership

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer

Then all the reindeer loved him as they shouted out with glee, Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer, you’ll go down in history!– Robert L. May

For many years, the story goes; Montgomery Ward department store in Chicago purchased and gave away coloring books as a promotional during the Christmas season. In 1939, company executives wanted to do something that would both reduce costs and be new and different.

To help with the new project they turned to Robert L. May, a 34-year old Montgomery Ward copywriter who was known to dabble in children’s limericks and stories. His creation was a short story written in rhyming verse and differed from the version known today. The original Rudolph lived in the woods with his loving parents far from the North Pole.

May’s story became an immediate success. Montgomery Ward gave away 2.4 million copies of the story in 1939 and by 1946…

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