Sesame Street begins its 50th season on November 9th and it really got me thinking about the lessons and characters I grew up with watching this iconic show. As I thought about it, I began to connect people in my own organization and how Sesame Street is really just a snapshot of our own professional lives.
So, here’s my Sesame Street view of Corporate America:
CEO = Big Bird – this was actually a tough one to select because Big Bird isn’t the leader we think of when we think of iconic leaders, but in the end, Big Bird is Sesame Street, just like Steve Jobs is Apple.
COO = Bert – He was always the conservative one, who was trying to get things done, while Ernie was trying to have a good time.
CFO = Count von Count – the Count was probably the easiest choice of all!
CHRO = Ernie – this was by far the most controversial selection. I could have gone with Oscar (boy my operation partners would agree with that! But, to me Ernie was the perfect partner for Bert (our COO). So to make the perfect marriage with Operations and HR, I decided on Ernie. Influence goes a long way with a CHRO, and Ernie has tons of influence with Bert!
CSO (Chief Strategy Officer) = Aloysius Snuffleupagus (Snuffy) Think about it, who did Big Bird always go to for advice? Oscar was also a potential for this one.
VP of Sales = Cookie Monster – You need someone who is internally motivated, and my boy Cookie is a self-directed monster when it comes to getting cookies. I’m sure he’ll be the same way in bringing in sales!
Executive Admin to CEO = Oscar the Grouch – I really don’t blame them for being grouchy, they have a tough job. So many people want a piece of the CEO’s time, and it is their job to control the crowd but they are still grouchy! (secondary choice? Head of Payroll!)
Head of Legal = Telly – Ok, for those who can’t remember, Telly the Monster is the one who was always worrying. So this fits.
And it gets tougher! I still have two Iconic Sesame Street Characters to decide on, Elmo and Grover…
CIO = Grover – Shy, but confident. Grover went about doing his business kind of in the background. No need to be noticed, just getting things done and sometimes making a mess of things, just as we are getting comfortable, and that’s how I like my IT people as well!
Ah, Elmo, what can we do with our little carefree, energetic, naïve red monster?
Head of R&D = Elmo – He is probably the most inquisitive of all the Sesame Street characters and is always trying to learn. So, tickle me silly, Elmo is leading our R&D department (Mr. Noodle was also in the running, but he’s a real person so I passed).
Throughout 50 years, Sesame Street has brought us a ton of characters, so I’m sure I missed a few. Send a comment if I missed one of your favorites or got one wrong in your mind.