Muppets & The Rainbow Connection

The other day I was discussing profiling and psychometric tools with a small group of colleagues. There was a general cynicism around both the tools and the usage. Someone suggested that it might be more useful to ask people to define themselves as Muppets. It was a proposal I was immediately drawn towards. People started attempting it and this went fine for the first few people and then it went horribly wrong. Where did people go wrong?

  • Suggestion 1: I’d be Miss Piggy
  • Suggestion 2: I’m probably a Gonzo
  • Suggestion 3: I like to think I’m a Kermit
  • Suggestion 4: The Count who counts things, don’t know what he is called
  • Suggestion 5: The Cookie Monster

It went wrong with suggestions 4 & 5 as anybody and everybody should know that Sesame Street is completely different to The Muppets. And quite how someone can forget the name of “The Count who counts” when that character is called ‘The Count’ is a matter of grave concern.

The talk of The Muppets reminded me of an odd Muppet related tale. In 1996 a man burst into a radio station in New Zealand and took the manager hostage with the express demand that he got to hear The Rainbow Connection, a song that is delivered by Kermit the Frog in the original Muppet Movie and was named the 74th best song in a movie by the American Film Institute. It has been covered by both The Carpenters and Justin Timberlake, a unique honour. I’m not sure that means it is good enough to hold people hostage for though…

I was listening to The Rainbow Connection the other day and the lyrics of the first 4 verses stuck me as a surprisingly good summary for the tug of war between aspiration and pragmatism that I see and hear every day. Why do people talk about a revolution in the way we work? Belief. Why do people challenge that belief? They don’t believe that revolutions is real.

Both of those positions make sense to me, but I guess I’m happy to keep stargazing.

The Rainbow Connection

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions
But only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide

So we’ve been told
And some choose to believe it
I know they’re wrong, wait and see
Some day we’ll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

Who said that every wish
Would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that
And someone believed it
And look what it’s done so far

What’s so amazing
That keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see
Someday we’ll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

It’s schmaltz, but then it is performed by a puppet so that seems fair enough. Sometimes willful suspension of disbelief is the best option.

Also, if you were wondering why Muppets were part of the conversation it was because about a month into my new role I went into the office with a strained throat. I shared the cause of that with people.

The reason for the strain? Bellowing this out in the shower…

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