08.20.2015

Raise the Boombox: 6.5 Ways to Bring the 80s to Work

Movies from the 1980s have so many iconic moments; I'm a sucker and will gladly sit through the commercials just to watch them on cable. And the other night it hit me that we could learn a lot from movies made three decades ago (yes, I feel as old as you did reading it when I wrote it: three decades). Here are six-and-a-half ways we can bring the 80s to work with us:

1. Be nice to everyone in the cafeteria/break room, because you never know when you'll be relegated to the "geek" table. Can't Buy Me Lovereminds us that when you rise to the top as a "cool kid" and you alienate the nerds, you won't have them to rely on when you fall back down to geek status. You never know who you will be reporting to tomorrow, so find friends of all statuses (or is it stati?) in the break room.

2. Use over-the-top gestures like putting a boom box over your head. Doing something memorable (but appropriate -- I don't recommend streaking) when presenting can lighten the mood. And while your team might not remember every detail of what you were telling them, they will always remember the meeting.

3. Find a breakfast club for group therapy. While I don't necessarily condone workplace gossip, it's going to happen so you might as well use protection. Find a group of allies at your workplace that can be your personal Molly Ringwald or Emilio Estevez to safely vent to. Then use safe location to do so -- but choose somewhere other than the local high school on a Saturday morning because that would be weird.

4. Hello McFly: Don't be a bully or you'll get knocked out like Biff. Whether it's 1885, 1955, 1985 or 2015, the Tannen family will never learn that nobody likes a bully. Are you running over people at work? Karma says it will catch up with you and usually Marty McFly will win.

5. Oh Captain, My Captain: A little loyalty goes a long way. The alternative teaching style that Robin Williams portrayed in Dead Poets Society created a sense of loyalty among his students. In a world where loyalty is fleeting from both employer and employee, take advantage of those loyal business relationships you have. Of course, Robin Williams' character did get fired at the end of movie, so maybe you shouldn't stand on your desk (didn't think a spoiler alert was needed -- you've had 26 years to see the movie!).

6. As you wish. There isn't a more noble/lovable/adventurous character in cinema as Wesley in The Princess Bride and what made him this way was his undying devotion to Princess Buttercup to do anything she wished. Occasionally in our workplaces (especially customer service jobs) the correct answer is "as you wish"-- even if it means you'll end up fighting rodents of unusual size.

And six-and-a-half: Don't be afraid to break out in dance at any given moment. Are you angry? Find a glen to punch-dance your rage away. Are you happy? Find baby in the corner and try to lift her in the air -- on second thought, maybe just organize a flash mob.

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Categories: Just For Fun Leadership Motivation & Inspiration Personal Brand Strategy