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8 Things You’ve Never Noticed in Frosty the Snowman

Frosty the Snowman.

We all know the song and have probably seen the 50 year old classic TV special.

In case you don’t know or remember, some kids build a snowman and put a magicians’ hat on its head. The snowman comes to life. It plays and sings songs with the kids. When it starts to melt, they all realize that it’s too warm in the town for it and they need to get it to the North Pole where it can live forever — so they take off on an adventure.

The magician, realizing his hat is magical and could be worth money, follows them. He locks Frosty in a greenhouse full of tropical plants, where Frosty melts. But Santa shows up, threatens the magician with a lifetime sentence on the naughty list and gets the hat back. A strong wind blows and Frosty is back!

Santa takes the kid who was traveling with Frosty home and rides off with Frosty to live with him, the Mrs, the elves and reindeer in Christmas village. Happily ever after.

I noticed a lot of interesting things watching Frosty in preparation for this post:

  • None of the kids are wearing appropriate winter gear, except Karen. Who let them out the house like that?? Where are their parents?? What is the school doing??

  • Frosty is addressed with male pronouns but has no genitalia so how does anyone know what Frosty’s gender identity even is?? Address Frosty as either it (since Frosty is technically inanimate and genderless) or as they to acknowledge Frosty’s neutral gender identity until Frosty makes a decision. Frosty is a snowperson.
  • When it comes to life, Frosty is shocked to learn it can speak and move. Its first move? A twerk. Yes, Frosty dropped it like it was hotttt — and looked back at it!!

  • As Frosty is walking thru the town with the children, it gets stopped by the police. The officer really gets up in its face and talks like he’s going to arrest Frosty, until Karen shows up and explains what’s going on … Combined with the twerking, it kinda looks like Frosty was being profiled and was only allowed to continue on its because a real White person spoke up. Stay woke

  • The train ticket to the North Pole cost over $3000 — and this was nearly 50 years ago!! Can you imagine what a ticket would cost now??? I was tempted to google this — but I didn’t … Tell me if you do cuz I still lowkey wanna know.
  • When the kids couldn’t afford the ticket, they decided to stowaway on an ice cream car on the train. They legit thought they could get to the North Pole and back by dinner time … I repeat: Where are their parents?? And what are they learning at school?? Nothing about appropriate dress for winter, geography or stealing, obvs.
  • Frosty was a simple, sensitive soul. It really looked out for Karen on their trip. When she was cold, it got Hocus the rabbit to get the woodland creatures to build a fire for her. It went in the greenhouse so Karen wouldn’t feel scared in there alone. And it knew only Santa could get them both out the mess they were in.
  • Santa is gangsta! When he found out the magician had deliberately hurt Frosty and Karen, he quickly got him alllllllll the way together in epic fashion. He let that magician know that meanness wouldn’t be tolerated in his presence or with his presents. Santa is the realist. He plays no games in this naughty/nice list life.

I know you all were hoping for profound, practical management lessons. I was, too. But I just didn’t find them.

I found fun instead.

So that’s the lesson. Not everything is all that deep. Sometimes things are just there for fun, foolish entertainment.

It’s rare but it’s real.

And the truth is, we need that … The fun and lightness of Frosty’s story is just as important to our existence as anything with a clear, inspirational message. Because we need balance in our lives.

It took a twerking Snowman to remind me of that.

What will it take for you?

3 Management Lessons from A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas is far and away my all-time favorite Christmas classic.

The show opens with Charlie Brown not feeling any holiday cheer. He thinks Christmas has become too commercialized and focused on all the wrong things. He speaks with his friend/psychiatrist, Lucy, about it and she suggests he take over directing the local Christmas pageant to lift his spirits and give meaning back to the holiday.

Charlie arrives the rehearsal space to find the cast not doing anything that looked like rehearsing. They were dancing and didn’t have their costumes or scripts. Charlie stopped their shenanigans to bring order and process to the session. He began sharing with them his vision for the production. He let them know what his off-stage hand signals would mean. He let them know how honored he was to lead them. It was a lovely introductory speech!

No one listened. They just whispered among themselves — then Schroeder started playing the piano and they all went back to dancing, just as they’d been doing before Charlie arrived.

Charlie got frustrated and yelled at them to stop. He asks Lucy to pass out the scripts and costumes for each of the roles. Once everyone has their items, Charlie is ready to start rehearsing — but the cast declares it’s time to break for lunch.

Charlie goes AWFFFF on the cast and crew for their lack of dedication. They argue back with him, saying he doesn’t know what he’s doing and it’s all his fault the production is a mess and so much time was wasted. Somehow, they convince him to go buy a Christmas tree to make amends with them.

So Charlie heads off with Linus to the Christmas tree lot, where they pick out the tiniest, most pathetic looking tree in the whole lot. The cast and crew berate him again when he returns with the tree. They call him stupid and hopeless and say he can’t ever do anything right.

Completely dejected, Charlie takes his pathetic little tree and leaves. He makes his way home, where he decides to try to decorate the tree using ornaments and lights from his dog, Snoopy’s, house.

He puts one ornament on the tree … and it tips over.

Charlie’s demoralized. He’s done with people and Christmas. He leaves the tipped over tree in the yard and goes to his house to sulk alone.

Strangely, the cast and crew shows up in Charlie’s back yard a few moments later. They had followed him home.  They see the tree tipped over and decide it isn’t such a terrible tree after all. Together, the cast decorates the tree — and it turns out beautiful! They burst into a chorus of Hark the Herald Angels Sing around the tree.

Charlie comes back outside and sees the tree and the cast singing around it. He smiles and joins the chorus. All is merry and bright. The end.

Charlie is a great example of the struggles new leaders face when taking on an existing team.

  • Existing teams want to do what they’ve always done. That’s why Charlie’s friends were dancing when he arrived at rehearsal and kept dancing despite his instructions.
  • Existing teams don’t like change. That’s why Charlie’s friends argued with him about his casting and costume choices during rehearsal. That’s why they initially rejected the tree Charlie bought for them. They wanted everything to be and look like they were used to.
  • Existing teams will try to change — then blame the new leader when it doesn’t work immediately. That’s why Charlie’s friends doubted him and called him terrible names.

So what’s a new leader to do when their existing team treats them this way?

Do what Charlie did!

  1. Charlie anticipated resistance. He came armed to rehearsal with a clipboard full of notes and observations to share with the cast and crew. He was ready to overcome their objections to his ideas and changes with facts and flattery.
  2. Charlie kept pushing his positive agenda.  He started by reminding them of the mission of the group and the importance of the work they were doing. He focused on the positive and didn’t get caught up in everyone else’s egos and ulterior motives. When necessary, he took a break to regroup and remind himself of what really mattered. He stayed on message for the duration.
  3. Charlie forgave and joined the chorus. He got angry and let the group have it! He briefly walked away. But when the group finally embraced his message and mission, he came back to them with the same positive spirit. He didn’t hold a grudge. He forgave them and joined the chorus. He celebrated their progress together, like none of the bad stuff happened.

It isn’t easy taking over as a new leader of an existing group. Not everyone is going to be happy for your arrival or want to see you succeed or immediately buy into your vision of the way forward.

Don’t give up. Eventually, the group will follow you and together you’ll build something beautiful.

 

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One additional notable from A Charlie Brown Christmas: Charlie’s mental health. 

As the show starts, he’s admittedly depressed and seems to be crying out for help to his family and friends. They generally miss those signs. 

The holiday season and winter months are really tough on people for a variety of reasons. Please remember to look for signs of distress and regularly check on your loved ones. Your words and presence could be the thing that help them make it one more day and/or get the help they need to overcome. 

Click HERE to learn more about seasonal depression and resources for help. 

I’m Bringing Decking Back – The Return of the Christmas Classics Series

I love Christmas movies.

The joy of the simple, feel-good stories and the sweet nostalgia of watching the same shows and movies year after year just can’t be beat.

For the few years on this blog, I dedicated several posts in December to Christmas classic movies.  Each posts was full of fun, practical inspiration from me and an amazing line-up of guest contributors.

So I decided to revive my Holiday Classics Series with 3 fresh, new posts this year. The fun will start on December 19th.

Until then, relive the magic of yesteryear by reading these throwbacks:

Deck the halls, yo! It’s the most wonderful time of the year

 

Want to be Productive? Forget the Low-Hanging Fruit

If your desk is anything like my desk and your calendar is anything like my calendar, you probably feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start to get it all done.

Once upon a time, my advice was to start with the “low-hanging fruit.” Knocking out the mindless, easy stuff gives you as sense of accomplishment that helps you to build momentum to tackle the bigger, more time-consuming, mentally tougher tasks.

Not  anymore.

It’s time to forget the low-hanging fruit. Here’s why:

  • There will always be low-hanging fruit … The easy mindless tasks of our days don’t go away. They keep turning up like bad pennies. Don’t give them more importance than they deserve.
  • Low-hanging fruit eventually drops off the tree … Sometimes, if you leave the easy, mindless tasks alone, they will resolve themselves without you having to do anything.
  • Anyone can grab the low-hanging fruit … The easy, mindless tasks can usually be delegated to someone else to address and resolve.

I am not advocating ignoring emails, voicemails, snail mail or administrative tasks altogether. I am suggesting you start putting these tasks in proper perspective and priority in planning your days and your work.

If the goal is to add value and advance strategy in our workplaces, the low-hanging fruit isn’t going to get us there. Instead, it just ends up in the way! We only have 8-10 hours in our offices each day — and only 3-4 of those can be spent legitimately doing deep, mindful work.  Low-hanging fruit and the stuff that comes from it usually end up sucking all the productivity, energy, mind space, and progress from us. By the time we get through dealing with the so-called easy, mindless tasks, our day is half over and we’re no closer to accomplishing the things we really need to do!

Enough! Forget the low-hanging fruit!

Don’t give low-hanging fruit tasks more than 90 minutes of the day — 30 minutes at the start, 30 minutes after lunch and 30 minutes before the end of the day. Set a timer for yourself if you need to.

  • If it is something you need to deal with immediately, determine where to place the issue among your other priorities
  • If it is not something you need to deal with immediately, set a reminder to respond based on the timeframe you feel is appropriate
  • If it is not something you need to deal with at all, forward the issue along to the person who should

Then delete/destroy the item and move onto to the more important things.

Because important things are important. Give those things the best of you, not the rest of you.

Free yourself. Forget the low-hanging fruit.

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