I just got back from Disney World with my fiancé. He had never been to Disney in his life and didn’t take his children as they were growing up. His excuse is that he took them to Space Camp. I wasn’t buying it. His punishment….a few days at Disney. So we packed our bags and bought our Disney tickets (due to the latest increase, we used our retirement IRAs to pay). Our mission: (which he had no choice but to accept) find anything with the Dopey character on it. See, I love Dopey. Though as I’m getting older, I’m starting to have a thing for Grumpy too…but I think that has more to do with my age and the loss of my remaining filters. But I digress.
I know that most people think that I’m nuts (I prefer “special”) but fairy tales do in fact teach you about life. Being the project manager I am, my perspective is that it teaches you about maneuvering life in the business world. For instance, fairy tales teach kids (and enlightened adults) about the benefits of diversity. Diversity comes in all shapes and sizes. Take the seven dwarves. Each dwarf is a caricature of the team members you work with.
Take Doc. Doc was the (self-appointed) leader of the group. Think project manager/department manager. He/she doesn’t always have the right answers, often has to deal with some aberrant behavior but uses leadership skills to take control when the going gets tough.
Bashful. This is your introvert. This may be a tech resource that would rather be working on the computer than working with the people in the room. They know what they are supposed to do but don’t like to be in the spotlight. They don’t like when you ask questions or put them on the spot. They prefer to be a wallflower.
Grumpy. We often call them the Doubting Thomas on the team. Grumpy is the first one to grumble about a new project or a change in the organization but when tragedy hits, he/she is still waiting to charge in to help. Yet, as a whole, the doubting Thomas is too often ignored. Sort of like the boy who cried wolf. But if you listen, you may realize that there is some truth to their complaints. They are often the best risk managers in the organization.
Sneezy. The sick day team member. The one whose slack the team has to pick up because Sneezy is (either legitimately or not) out sick.
Sleepy. This one makes me personally nervous. You know the one. I look over during a meeting and find Sleepy asleep. Not fully engaged, Sleepy has a hard time keeping up since THEY AREN’T CONSCIOUS!!
Happy. The team member everyone wishes for. No matter what the task or the workload, they always have a smile on their face. The Zen Masters of the team.
Dopey. Dopey tries hard and is always positive. Dopey has the right attitude so may be the best team member to mentor. When given Grumpy, who may be smart but have a lousy attitude or Dopey that may not be as smart but has a desire to learn, I’ll take Dopey every time. Not sure that my fiancé likes that fact too much.
As diverse as the dwarves were in their thinking and their personality, they worked together as a team. Each dwarf added something to the total household and they came together in the mines and in their rescue of their houseguest. Face it. Where would Snow White be without them?
So, I think I’m going to make an annual trek to Disney going forward. It is amazing the type of insight fairy tales can bring to real life. (Plus, I am still looking for that perfect Dopey t-shirt.)