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Six Business and Life Lessons I Learned from Fraggle Rock

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Do you remember that childhood show called Fraggle Rock (a Jim Henson Production)?

It was a world made up of Fraggles and Doozers. Fraggles were creatures that stood 18 inches tall, lived in a network of caves and spent much of their time exploring their worlds, and generally enjoying life while maintaining a complex social culture. Doozers were small 4 inch tall humans whose lives were dedicated to work and industry. They even had their own song (YouTube: https://youtu.be/H7AthbqkW68). There architecture and construction projects were a consumable candy that were meant to be enjoyed by the Fraggles. Interestingly there is a book called the ‘Legend of the Doozer’ where it is explained that if Doozers stop doing they will turn into Fraggles. In the end it turns out to be story parents tell their kids to teach them the value of hard work.

Decades later I see Fraggle Rock as a commentary on our working and living world where they may be Fraggles, Doozers or a few other creatures. Here are six business and life Lessons I learned from Fraggle Rock.

It’s a global community: Yap, the show was developed to appeal to a global market using an international co-production approach. It was recorded in Canada and broadcast to 90 countries and in 13 languages. Today we can do international shared work at a click of a button with virtual teams at our fingertips. Just use Google Tools, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Fiverr, UpWorks and Dropbox in your business as a Doozer and you will know what I mean. Everything is a global event easily shared and consumed.

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The human segment changed: The actor and character of Doc, the inventor, and Sprocket, his dog, were changed to connect with different cultures and audiences.  An interesting commentary on understanding the customers you serve and then making a change to address their needs. Interestingly, Mr. Hensen had it right back then, know who you serve and change up the characters.

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We are dependent on each other: The show was created with ecology in mind. You see, the characters were all dependent on one another. A weird fact, they often didn’t know it. This is similar to business teams in an organization. There was another underlining theme, stop war, don’t be political and be advocates of people getting along. People conflict has the ability to kill internally and externally. It can destroy a person, a team and more. Yet as people we are dependent on one another for our over arching success. As a leader your job is to build dependent team ecology.

Know who you are speaking too: In an article I read some time ago it was suggested that the show was for ‘Mid-Kids’. This meant the show attracted people of all ages who watched Sesame Street yet read grown-ups magazines enjoying fiction, fantasy, music and storytelling. This is one of those areas about knowing your target market, the segments and sub-segments and providing what they need. But here’s the thing, the real market for the show was the Creative Types. For some reason these people totally immersed themselves and related on a level to the show that only they might understand. Again, the lesson learned, knowing who you serve and your true target market.

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It’s OK to explore and have fun: I think this is one of the most valuable lessons from the show and the characters. Where the Fraggles and the Doozers both had different roles and responsibilities it’s important to blend the two characters for the working world. Going out and exploring your world is a whole lot of fun. Working on something and doing to accomplish something is satisfying in a way that only a Doozer might understand. Still maybe we are all just a blend of being a Fraggle and a Doozer. Oh, yes, let’s not forget Doc, the inventor and his trusty sidekick, Sprocket.

It’s all about being who you are: Accepting oneself for being who you are can be a tough thing. Lots of people are challenged in this capacity, losing themselves in the expectations of others or trying to be something they are not. This happens in the workplace and in our personal lives all the time. For example, taking on a job that is not naturally part of who you are or not living the belief of someone else and being constantly reminded of what they see as your short coming. Being your natural self in a world that has so many judges has its challenges.

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I have always admired people who go into the world; accept who they are and who become who they are meant to be. I think this is one of those things that we all wish; to live our lives daily as our natural self. Staying within our wheelhouse and maybe bringing a little Fraggle Rock with us where ever we go. My point, find your natural self and stick with it. You will be much happier.

Final Thoughts: Thinking a little bit about this blog and Fraggle Rock, I started to think about my working and personal life. I officially started working when I was 15 years old. This year I turn 55. That’s 40 years, but my career only really started 30 years ago. I think there have been times in my life where I’ve been a Fraggle and other times a Doozer.

Life is like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending. Jim Henson. Click To Tweet

Life is full of time working; wanting to enjoy, have fun and pursue personal interests. As always, you get brought back to reality with having to ‘do’ to pay the bills, support a family or to build something, anything that matters. For me, some projects I enjoyed and others, in retrospect, I didn’t. As for relationships, I think there are times I lived my life as me and other times I lived my life the way other people thought I should live or I thought they thought I should live (if that makes sense). As an life experienced person, standing in the middle of my road with my past behind me, I can say I am more inclined to live my life as me and not the way someone or somebody says I should, whether in play or in work. I like to think that this is just part of the life learning and loving the journey. Having the freedom, autonomy, independence and relationships to pursue the fun of a Fraggle and the building of a Doozer is a great gift.

Faggle Rock teaches us so much about the interrelationships and dependencies of our lives with other people. From the culture we work in, who we serve, the way we live our life, what we create, to the difference we make. I can’t help but think there is a little bit of a Fraggle and Doozer in everybody. Maybe it is time to let them both out. Enjoy.

Do your best, Invest in the Success of others, Make your journey count, Richard

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