Celebrate your uniqueness and your role in your team
The Muppets were the most high-performing team in the history of pop-culture. The blend of characters created the kind of team we all dream of being part of. So what made them so magical and enduring?
The Muppets are based on real people, and there is a little Muppet in all of us. What’s your Spirit Muppet?
Read on to refresh your memories of these unique characters, identify with their strengths, and consider your role in forming a high-performing team.
Servant Leadership: Kermit the Frog was the charming, unassuming leader who didn’t aspire to be the leader. He is loyal, brave, and kind. We connect to his unending belief in goodness and in us. He’s the kind of leader that Brene Brown talks about, deep empathy, leading with values, and being vulnerable. If you are a Kermit, keep doing what you are doing. I’d work for him — would you?
Mastering our craft: Animal, everyone’s favorite. The tortured artist, the creative soul. He lifts our spirits with his crazy, brilliant outbursts. He celebrates a bias toward action and discovery and generally helps us get in touch with our inner Animal by activating the right side of our brain. If you are an Animal, you help us connect with our internal creativity and flex our innovation muscle.
Creating balance: Miss Piggy. She’s certainly got that superstar personality that brings a little glamour to the team. It’s another testament to a team’s power that celebrates strong personalities and a bit of eccentricity. She knows what she wants, and she’s not afraid to stand up for herself. She knows how to balance relationships and work life. Miss Piggy also shows us how to balance both the feminine and the masculine with her jewels and karate kicks. Studies show us that accessing and valuing feminine traits, along with the masculine, can have a transformative effect in organizations. If you are Miss Piggy, you help us integrate our feminine and masculine traits, which helps us improve our emotional intelligence and increase our competitive advantage.
Having the tough conversations: Statler and Waldorf, those two old guys in the balcony, could always be counted on to throw out a clever barb or a tomato or two. They balance out the adorableness factor, and they provide a much-needed outlet for all the things people are NOT saying. They make it okay to speak the truth, and the team forgives them for their rough delivery. That part is a key feature of high-performing teams— how does your team perceive and address opposing opinions? If you are Statler or Waldorf, celebrate how you help your team improve the depth of their communication.
For the Win! Characters like Gonzo and Fozzie can be counted on to entertain others, and they are not just play-acting. You might recall Gonzo’s antics of shooting out of a cannon or diving over the cliff to get the laugh. He is really driven to entertain, and he will always be willing to take one for the team. Gonzo has that magical ‘Woo!’ factor that helps him Win Others Over and keeps us from taking things too seriously. Fozzie puts his whole self into the game for the love of the game. They are authentic in their passion, and it connects with our inner child. If you are a Gonzo or a Fozzie, recognize the power of your presence and how you open doors for an exchange of ideas.
Celebrate Diversity: It’s surprising how many Muppets don’t speak the language. Recall the characters of the Swedish Chef and Mahna Mahna. We don’t know what they are saying, yet, they are endearing characters. Turns out, we don’t need words to connect with them. Both lead with their passions, and they don’t care what others think. Their ability to march to the beat of their own drums speak louder than any script. If you are Hergy-bergy-flocken-durk or Mahna Mahna, you energize us and help us celebrate the power of diversity. Rock on!
~ Julee Everett
Hone your craft; speak your truth; show your thanks
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