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Wisdom from … Gilligan’s Island

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by on
in The Savvy Office Manager

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale …

All right. You know the rest of the jingle. It’s forever stained in my memory. I forget birthdays, people’s names and even passwords I concocted just hours ago, but I can’t erase the “Gilligan’s Island” theme out of my head.

Nonetheless, the beloved TV sitcom portraying seven castaways stranded on an uncharted deserted island wasn’t without its slapstick humor, moronic exchanges and, yes, sagacity in all its simplicity.

So you don’t have to go through all 96 episodes: Here are some snippets from which managers and leaders can glean lessons. Like in Shakespearean plays, the fools spew the most poignant wisdom:

Professor: I have an idea that may well be instrumental in securing for us deliverance from our enforced isolation.

Above all, clarity, please. How about “I thought of a way to get off this island.” Employees perform best when your directives aren’t muddied. They will appreciate plain language.


Mrs. Howell: I don’t know how we’re going to explain to our friends that we spent several years with people who aren’t even in the social register.

Don’t alienate yourself from those whom you manage. You’re all in this together.


Professor: All right, Ginger, read my mind.

Ginger: 36, 22, 36.

Professor: Well, that’s just the atomic weight of sodium hydrochloride.

Are you and your employees on the same page? If not, progress will be chaotic and cumbersome at best.


Gilligan: You’re a big man with a big head and …

Skipper: Gilligan!

Gilligan: And a big heart.

Skipper: Oh, thank you.

Oh, the power of saying something nice to someone!


Skipper: What time did you say this was, Professor?

Professor: Shortly after 11.

Skipper: Oh, well, then it couldn’t have been me or Gilligan because we were both sound asleep.

Professor: Both of you?

Skipper: Well yes, eh …

Professor: Well then, eh, Skipper, if you were asleep, how could you know that Gilligan was?

Skipper: Because he told me when he woke up.

Professor: Well if Gilligan was asleep, how could he know that you were?

Skipper: Well because I … a … well … yes. If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s logic!

Are your ideas or processes sometimes challenged? Listen to the other side. You may see some flaws in your thinking.


Gilligan: You know what my grandmother always said: “Never criticize anyone else unless you can do better yourself.”

No comment needed.


image: E! Online

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