His eyes bug out, he’ s built like an anorexic Gumby, and his voice is a cross between the lead singer of Rascal Flatts and the Wicked Witch of the West. Yet audiences love him, people have memorized trivia about him, and his videos on YouTube get tens of thousands of hits. What is it about Barney Fife that makes him a worthy character to follow?
Barney Fife drove me crazy as a kid because he always messed up Sheriff Andy Taylor’s efforts, and I had a big crush on Andy Griffith. Yes, I was an odd child. As an adult, I look back on Barney Fife and try to determine what I can learn about change, sales, and influence from Mayberry‘s most annoying character. Here are the four things I learned from Barney:
1. He loves his job and works hard at it. Nobody puts in more hours and effort than Barney, as seen in the clip below. He might mess up, but he loves what he does. There’s something about him that reminds me of Dave Tango on GhostHunters. Tango never has experiences and usually doesn’t totally understand what’s going on, but he is sincere and he loves what he does. Sometimes that’s just enough.
2. He’s tenacious. Barney may do a lot of things wrong, but he never quits. Ever.
3. He cares about people. No matter how tough Barney acts, he puts tremendous energy into the characters around him. Even Otis.
4. He is flawed. I think business misses the boat by fixating on perfection rather than character. Some of the greatest lessons in life are learned from people who aren’t buttoned-up and in constant fear of making a mistake. Barney goes for it; he’s not afraid of showing his flaws.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mY_PEcfx0CU&feature=related[/youtube] So, Barney, in my older age I salute you. Andy appreciated you all along, didn’t he? Life is a story, and we are all but characters. To be a memorable character, ask yourself:
Just some things to think about. Now I’m going to whistle along with the best theme song of all time :).[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BmurO7ZW_Q[/youtube]
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