I love The Muppets. It’s a fact that I cannot look at one without smiling. And since they are back on the big screen with their Muppets Most Wanted movie, I thought that I would revisit the concept of seeking your inner business Muppet.
See, as adorable and funny as the Muppet clan can be, taking on their personality traits may holding you back professionally. While Kermit is solid—really, the backbone of the crew—his supporting cast has some “interesting” character traits. If you identify with any of the following, you may need to re-evaluate your inner Muppet to get ahead in your career and business.
Miss Piggy: I remember a favorite Miss Piggy phrase was always “Is it for moi?” Miss Piggy is bold, brash, bossy and self-centered. If you identify with Miss Piggy, you can help your business or team stand out in a crowd, but beware of your interpersonal skills. Make sure to share the credit for a job well done with your team and your customers. Also, I do not recommend her trademark karate-chop as a good way to handle conflict at work either.
Fozzie Bear: Fozzie is affable and always telling jokes—usually lame jokes. That means that people like Fozzie, but don’t take him too seriously. If you identify with Fozzie, make sure to mix it up and project a serious and credible side as well. Prove that you are dependable or you may be left behind, while those around you are promoted or while cohorts create partnerships with other businesses.
The Swedish Chef: The Swedish Chef has a serious communication problem—literally, no-one can understand what he’s talking about. If your ideas are constantly falling flat and not being used or if your marketing message is falling on deaf ears, it could be the Swedish Chef in you. Get feedback from others to help make your messaging more effective.
Statler & Waldorf: The two cranky old guys in the Muppet balcony—Statler & Waldorf—have something to say about everyone. If you are overly critical, you may be squashing innovation or finding yourself on the outskirts of a team. Make sure to pepper some praise in with your punditry to come across more fair and balanced.
Animal: Animal is creative, but crazy. He’s a loose cannon and needs to be kept on a short leash—again, literally. If you have the tendency to explode in stressful situations or go way outside of the scope of projects, dealing with the drama that you cause may not be worth the great work you produce. Try to tone it down and keep your “Animal” instincts to after-hours.
Gonzo: Gonzo the Great is a risk taker- an entrepreneur of sorts. But his stunts—from being shot out of a cannon to eating tires—always end in disaster. If you are a Gonzo, aim to fail fast, quickly and cheaply and don’t make a big production out of it or eventually, you will lose your credibility with your team.
Sam the Eagle: Sam is dependable but stiff; he comes across as boring (in fact, so much so that you may not even remember him!). If you identify with Sam, you or your business may also be forgotten, which is not good for your business or career. You may want to be counseled by a “Miss Piggy” to be more bold and stand out in the crowd.
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is currently an on-air contributor for the national cable television station CNBC, the pre-eminent name in business news, and the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country. Carol multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics.
Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011 &2012) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth