Sunday, July 28, 2013

10 Useful Leadership Tips as Demonstrated by 80’s Sitcom Icons

Yes, I am a child of the 80’s, and I watched a lot of television back then.  I had no idea that the characters I grew up watching would offer insight into well, anything.  In an effort to justify the endless hours I spent in front of the television, I’ve come up with 10 examples of leadership traits found in some iconic characters from a time when skinny ties were in and every kid had a Rubik’s Cube.
  • Be the voice of reason
Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard) from Happy Days may not have gotten the attention that the Fonz did, but at the end of the day, it was his level headed nature that was the moral compass for the rest of the characters.

  • Display a caring nature
Edna Garret (Charlotte Rae) was more than just a housemother at a boarding school on The Facts of Life, she was also everyone’s friend, confidant, and role model.

  • Show common sense when making decisions
Judge Harold T. Stone (Harry Anderson) was faced with many ridiculous cases as he presided over his Night Court, but always seemed to weigh all the factors and make the best decision.

  • Tell a story to make your point
The highlight of almost any episode of Golden Girls was when Rose Nylund (Betty White) told one of her stories, something many effective leaders are adept at doing to illustrate a point or create a mood

  • Be confident
ALF, or Gordon Shumway as he was known on Melmac, owned whatever room he entered, whether on his planet or ours.

  • Collaboration is essential
Laverne DaFazio (Penny Marshall) and Shirley Feeney (Cindy Williams) from Laverne & Shirley were nothing alike, but each week they managed to get into and out of trouble by working together.

  • Think outside the box
Bosom Buddies was only on the air for 37 episodes, but  Kip (Tom Hanks) and  Henry (Peter Scolari) spent most of them in women’s clothes in order to live in an affordable apartment, be close to the woman of his dreams, and gather material for a book.

  • Be personable and quick witted
Who could ever forget when Norm Peterson (George Wendt) entered Cheers?  He was greeted with a chorus of “Norm” and answered with a clever retort before taking his corner seat at the bar.

  • Set goals
Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox) knew what he wanted from the moment he was born, wealth, and spent every minute trying to get it on Family Ties

  • Lead ethically
Governor Eugene Xavier Gatling (James Noble)from Benson may not have been the most conventional governor, and perhaps he was even a bit dimwitted, but he lead with his heart in the right place.

Did I miss any of your favorites?  What decade did you grow up in and what did you learn from those characters?

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