Teamwork According to The Smurfs

6 09 2011

This summer the little blue guys came to the big screen.  No, I’m not talking about Blue Man Group.  I’m talking about the Smurfs!  I remember watching the television show as a kid, thinking to myself, “Why won’t Gargamel leave the poor guys alone?”  You see, Gargamel was the evil genius (or so he thought) that was always devising a plan to capture the Smurfs.  His plan, much like that of Wile E. Coyote, always fell short.  Ah, memories…to be a kid again, right?

The Smurfs were generally named by personality or their profession.  Each person had a particular part to play in the village.  When it all comes down to it, each Smurf was held accountable to pull their weight as part of the team.  Let’s break it down by the first dozen:

  • Papa Smurf – He’s the leader.  All the Smurfs come to Papa Smurf for his sage advice.  His mentorship helps them make the right decision or reflect on the ones that didn’t go as planned.
  • Brainy Smurf – He’s the brains.  He’s also the know-it-all of the operation.  Do you know someone like this? 
  • Baker Smurf – Baker’s job in the village is to bake.  That’s it.  But, he’s the best at what he does.  I’d love to have one of those Smurf berry cupcakes!
  • Clumsy Smurf – Clumsy is just that…clumsy.  But he’s also a pretty sensitive guy.  Just because he’s always tripping over his feet or falling out of his chair doesn’t mean it’s okay to laugh at him.  I’m accident-prone, so falling down, tripping, or even completely wiping out is part of who I am.  People typically can find humor in their actions, but when someone else laughs in their face, it hurts more than falling down. 
  • Greedy Smurf – The name is a bit misleading.  If you have a something sweet, like a cupcake from Baker Smurf, you can get Greedy to do just about anything.  It’s always about the reward.  What gets your team going?  Is there a reward that is motivating you to achieve your goal?
  • Handy Smurf – This guy can fix anything.  He’s the MacGuyver of the Smurf kingdom.  There’s always a project for Handy.  All he needs is some duct tape, a paperclip and dental floss.  Know anyone like this?  J
  • Smurfette – She’s the only girl in the village (until later in the series), taking care of animals and flowers as well as being the love interest in the story.  Smurfette brings happiness wherever she goes, spreading good cheer like it’s going out of style.  She’s a team player, always willing to help.  Do you have someone like Smurfette on your team? 
  • Jokey Smurf – He loves pranks.  Sometimes, a little too much.  When his classic prank, an exploding gift box, goes off, he really tries the patience of his fellow Smurfs.  That’s just the personality of Jokey, though. 
  • Farmer Smurf – Like his name implies, Farmer Smurf is responsible for growing all the food for the village.  He’s also known for his “golly-gee” attitude.  Farmer just wants to help, and like his fellow Smurfs, he’s pretty dang good at his job. 
  • Barber Smurf – Barber has his work cut out for him (pun intended.)  You see, there were only a few Smurfs, including Papa, Smurfette and a couple of others, who actually had hair.  He made the best of it.  He didn’t give up just because he had limitations.  Even if everyone was bald, I bet Barber Smurf would think of a way to help his fellow Smurf.  Do you know someone like this?
  • Lazy Smurf – Every team, every village has one.  Lazy can usually be found sleeping under a mushroom.  He has a gift.  That gift is the ability to sleep anywhere, anytime, in any situation.  His attitude is mellow and there’s not a lot that bothers Lazy.  He’s still a team player…just a little laid back.
  • Grouchy Smurf – Whatever the idea, Grouchy was against it.  No matter how good it was, Grouchy opposed.  He has a heart of gold, though.  It’s deep down, but still there.  Is Grouchy on your team?
  • Gargamel – Okay, he wasn’t a Smurf.  He was the guy that kept the Smurfs running for their lives.  I think he could be seen as a change agent.  When he attacked, the Smurfs had to think on their feet, reacting quickly.  The Smurfs could never be too careful.

So, I may have gotten a little off-topic, but here’s where I was heading with all of this.  Each person on the team has a specific role.  Each team member brings a different level of skill and has specialties in different areas.  If we each went our own direction with these skills, we wouldn’t get very far.  By combining our skills, effort and collective intelligence, we can achieve our goals effectively and more efficiently.  Working together, a team can literally achieve anything they set out to do.  Don’t be the lone Smurf.  What Smurf are you most like??

I hope you found this post useful and fun.  I had fun writing it!  Here’s a little trivia challenge for you:  I mentioned Smurfette wasn’t the only girl on the show.  Do you know who the other one was?

Leave me a comment – I’d love to hear from you.  As always, thanks for reading!

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12 06 2012
Advice from the Neighborhood « Campus To Career

[…] culture is awesome.  Over the years, I’ve written about The A-Team, Muppets, Vanilla Ice and Smurfs.  I may be dating myself, but I’m going to go somewhere I’ve never gone before with this […]

21 12 2012
2012′s Top 20 Posts on Your Career « Campus To Career

[…] 18. Teamwork According to The Smurfs – What can little blue men (and a woman, sorry Smurfette) teach us about teamwork? More than you think. […]

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