The old adage says, “Life imitates art.” With this in mind, business leaders can often look to pop culture and the media to find insights into their consumers. A few of the best places to do this are television, film and books. Business leaders can study the most popular characters of their time to learn what qualities people expect from their management. Take a look below to get a glimpse of some of the most popular characters in modern pop culture and what business leaders can learn from them.
1. Sherlock Holmes from “Sherlock”
While the Sherlock portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch is a bit different than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original imagining, he is still an excellent role model for managers. Poor social graces aside, Holmes is a cunning figure who is able to come up with a solution by taking what he has in front of him and viewing it from a creative perspective. Applied to business practices, this could give leaders the ability to finally solve the problems that have been plaguing their companies.
2. Albus Dumbledore from “Harry Potter”
Honest, wise and good-hearted, Albus Dumbledore was more than a role model for Harry Potter and the other students at Hogwarts. He could be an example to business leaders as well. Albus’s honesty and wisdom were the guiding characteristics that defined his tenure as headmaster. He was highly respected and deeply loved by almost everyone who knew him, and he inspired fierce loyalty even in his absence. By molding their behaviors after Dumbledore, business leaders may see similar results.
3. Olivia Pope from “Scandal”
It is always refreshing to see a strong female character on the page or the screen, and Olivia Pope is one we can all admire. Her determination and strength are good lessons to all. Her job is to remain calm while under heavy pressure to fix someone else’s problems. Business leaders could take a lesson from her cool-headedness and tact.
4. Tyrion Lannister from “Game of Thrones”
If there was ever a questionable role model, it is Tyrion Lannister. Yet, he is one of the most quoted characters on “Game of Thrones.” Because of his physical disabilities, he has been ridiculed and cast aside his whole life. But he used that dismissal as fuel for his personal fire. He made it inspiration to better himself in ways that he could control. Business leaders know that not everything will go their way, but they need use those misdirections in their advantage just like Tyrion.
5. George Feeny from “Boy Meets World”
“Feeny! Feeheheny!” Those words were the siren call to many television viewers of the ’90s. It usually signaled that one of the Matthews brothers were about to get some memorable advice from their principle, George Feeny. He was always there to lend an ear or share wisdom. Business leaders should follow Feeny’s open door – or open backyard – policy.
Pop culture can teach us many things, but its most prominent characters may be the best examples for business leaders.
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