A Strengths Lesson from The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Grand Officers all had the chance to take the Strengthsfinder Assessment to reveal their top-5 Strengths. This serves as a starting point to becoming better leaders by focusing on what they do best. The Strengths philosophy is that if you focus on your natural talents, you will excel farther than if you spend precious time focusing on your weaknesses.

enhanced-21678-1444938690-4I’ve been watching The Nightmare Before Christmas a lot with my kids lately, and I’ve noticed a really great Strengths lesson in the story!

We all know that Jack Skellington takes over Christmas toward the end of the movie and things do not go particularly well. But have you ever paid close attention to the song Jack sings after his failed attempt as Santa? Here are a few of the lyrics that stood out to me:

Well, what the heck? I went and did my best
And by God, I really tasted something swell
And for a moment, why, I even touched the sky
And at least I left some stories they can tell, I did

And for the first time since I don’t remember when
I felt just like my old bony self again
And I, Jack, the Pumpkin King
That’s right, I am the Pumpkin King

And I just can’t wait until next Halloween
‘Cause I’ve got some new ideas that will really make them scream
And by God, I’m really gonna give it all my might
Uh oh, I hope there’s still time to set things right

Things go wrong for Jack when, after he is intrigued by what he sees in Christmas Town, decides that he’s the right person to take over for Santa on Christmas. “But you’re the Pumpkin King!” cries Sally in warning, one he ignored. Jack was bored and wanted to experience something new, which is understandable. Perhaps it would have been better for him to just do a ride-along with Santa instead!

Stepping completely out of his Strengths didn’t go well for Jack and in the end he was reminded of who he is, what his natural talents are, and he was excited to do his Halloween work again with fresh new ideas and a better appreciation of his talents, ones he maybe took for granted. The ultimate Strengths lesson is:

Experience new things, but don’t forget who you truly are and the wonderful, unique talents you bring into the world just by being you.

What amazing Strengths do you have that you’re taking for granted?

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