by: Shari Donk We all grew up reading fables and fairytales, but only reading them to find out if the princess fell in love with the prince. Now, as businessmen and women, we can dig deeper into those childhood favorites of ours and pull out useful tips from the most unexpected characters. Don’t believe me? Here are some lessons we can learn from the wrongdoings and right doings of five classic storybook characters:
1. Hansel and Gretel – We could learn a lot from this duo’s mistake. They thought breadcrumbs would be a great way to track their trail, but they failed to think of all the animals in the forest that could eat them! They remind us to always be sure to have an effective tracking and measuring system in place for your social media. Whether it’s through the use of tracking links or Facebook insights, keeping tabs on ROI is crucial. You do not want to be caught in the mess of a situation that Hansel and Gretel found themselves in!
2. The Princess from “The Princess and the Pea” – A pea was hidden under countless mattresses, headboards, and padding as a test to see if the princess was truly in fact, a princess. We are not all princesses in business. Our consumers will not be able to, nor have the patience to sift through “fluff” to find relevant content. Make sure everything your company puts out can be easily accessible and provides value.
3. The Three Little Pigs - The Three Little Pigs are the perfect example of how careful, advance planning is what helps businesses succeed. The first two pigs took the easy way out, using materials that would only let their houses stand for mere minutes. The third pig took time, diligence, and strong materials to ensure that his house would endure the Big Bad Wolf. In the business world, it takes those same qualities to make sure a business can last through the blowing winds of the economy and their competition trying to bring them down.
4. Pinocchio - Every time Pinocchio lies, his nose grows and it becomes apparent to everyone that he is lying. What can we learn from Pinocchio? To be transparent, of course. Do not try to cover up your mistakes and certainly do not lie. The truth will eventually come out and the damage will be much worse than a growing nose! If you are transparent in your business, all of this can be avoided.
5. The Mad Hatter - On the surface, this zany Alice in Wonderland character doesn’t seem to have any good business sense at all. He is rude, confusing, and … mad! But through his character we learn a valuable lesson to take with us in business and in life: to never allow yourself to become so serious that you hate what you do. A work/life balance is hard to come by, but is imperative to one’s sanity. Too serious and you can end up as uptight as the Queen of Hearts (“Off with their heads!”), while all work and no play can make you as mad as the hatter himself.
What other characters can we learn business lessons from? Who would you add to the list? Comment below!