The intention of this post is to add to the growing canon of weighty tomes on leadership, so I have to begin properly by warning readers that I have all the ideas in this post copyrighted and trademarked to ensure saleability in the future. Our teams of lawyers will be hot on the heels of any sneakthieves and copywrongers out there who attempt to use unlicensed forms of Muppet Leadership™ within their own institutions for their own personal gain.
That said for a small stipend we will happily lease you limited rights, allowing you a discount on the Muppet Leadership™ branded resources in return for your commitment to sell-on to local schools. These resources will include Muppet Manuals™, Muppet MP3s™ and our face-to-face Muppetinars™ where a Muppet Mentor™ will facilitate all your Muppet Leadership™ needs for less than the cost of a Classroom Assistant. For a big stipend you can also buy a franchise in Muppet Leadership™, allowing you to deploy the Magic of Muppetry™ in your own schools, although all rights will be reserved by the for-profit social enterprise organisation, the Shadowy Centre for Applied Muppetry, or SCAM©
Anyway, enough with the preamble. Today I am here to put before you a new take on leadership development in the form of Muppet Leadership™, and invite you to take a journey with is that will allow you to see what kind of Muppet Leader™ you are. The hope is that all school leaders will be able to channel their Inner Muppet™ and learn how to develop alternative Muppetish Leadership styles by flexing their Muppet Muscles™ and get the right balance between their MUP Brain™ and their PET Brain™
There are six Muppet Leadership™ styles in total, three representing your MUP (or Moving Up Pacefully™) Brain and three reflecting your PET (or Plodding Eternally Taskfully™) Brain. Let us now consider these two brains and the Muppet Leadership™ that lies within each.
MUP Brain™ Leaders
MUP Brain™ leaders are the dynamists of the Muppet Leadership™ spheroid. They are the gone-gotters and the pace-maders of the educational firmament. They wait for no-one in seeking out their goals and achieving them. They include:
Miss Piggy Leaders™ – These are Muppet Leaders who will stop at nothing in their quest for the top of the pile. They will simultaneously deploy kisses and cricket bats with their staff, referring frequently to a “carrot and stick” approach. When you see an MPL™ heading down the corridor, you’ll never quite know if you’re getting a hiya or a hai-yaa from them. Occasionally seen as pig-headed these Muppet Leaders™ know how to get results, sometimes at the necessary expense of staff-wellbeing.
The Great Gonzo Leaders™ – These are Muppet Leaders™ who will happily blow their own trumpet regardless of the noise it makes. They will take the most amazing risks in your school, regardless of their chances of success and regardless of their impact. A truly committed GGL™ will never be seen as a chicken, but will happily be found surrounded by them to ensure that their actions are seen as bravery.
Kermit The Frog Leaders™ – These are Muppet Leaders™ who will never give up hope “trying to get a bunch of crazies to actually get their job done” as Jim Henson once said. A great KtFL™ will show limitless optimism and belief in people regardless of how deeply rooted their cynicism or incompetence. Occasionally known to suffer Messiah complexes these leaders toady to everyone with their ‘warts and all’ philosophy.
PET Brain Leaders™
PET Brain™ leaders are the devoutites of the Muppet Leadership™ undergirdle. They seen-doners and comearound-againers of the educational undersoil. They cling on stubbornly to the ethos of the school and are unbudging in their manner. They include:
Animal Leaders™ – These are Muppet Leaders™ who will unceasingly bang their own drums over and over and over again. Their message is simple and simplistic to allow everyone to understand it. When you hear an AL™ speak it may seem lacking in nuance, and it may prove to be inappropriate for the actual context in which they are speaking, but it will always be consistent, rooted in the knowledge that schools need uniformity and consistency above all else.
Sam the Eagle Leaders™ – These are Muppet Leaders™ who actively counsel against the perils of modernity and lowbrowishness, particularly in terms of new-fangled and progressive methods on classrooms. A powerful and censorious figure, the StEL™ will bestride corridors, perpetually underappreciated and keen to show it. They will soar above the fray, happy to look down on others.
Statler and Waldorf Leaders™ – These are Muppet Leaders™ who know what they like and like what they bloody well know. They are astounding at criticising the ideas and actions of others. A somewhat disagreeable figure, the SaWL™ will pick a fight with themselves if there is nobody else around. Although often viewed as seeing themselves above their staff, these leaders still turn up month after month and year after year such is their commitment to what they hate.
Connecting you MUP Brain™ and PET Brain™
No school leader can possibly aim to be a Muppet Leader™ unless the can marry their MUP and PET Brains. The best way to do this is to blend the styles shown above in one of the Nine MUP+PET Combos™ which can be found in the second of our five book series (currently retailing at £69.99 per book or £399.99 for the set). A sample combo is shown below for illustrative purposes;
The GGL+AL Combo™ – The combination of Great Gonzo and Animal Leadership styles is called the Gonzimal Leadership Combo™ or GLC™. In this combo and involves a Muppet Leader™ developing risk-welcoming behaviours and then repeatedly urging lemming-esque conformity from others towards them. This is widely renowned as one of the most common forms of Muppet Leadership™ although its proponents are often unaware of this fact, given the relative newness of these theories.
Flexing your Muppet Muscles™
The fifth of our books, and the most popular of our Muppetinars™, deals with the application of Muppet Leadership™ theory to the professional development of senior and middle leaders in schools. It is our firm belief that only by building and flexing our Muppet Muscles™ can we truly develop amongst school leaders what we view as the nirvana of our craft, the Inner Muppet™ where all outward understanding of one’s Muppetry have disappeared.
The contents of this book are too precious to be given away in an open source format, but three key steps can be identified in order to give a hint at what school leaders need to do to achieve the goal of finding and becoming their Inner Muppet™ once they have identified the correct MUP+PET Combo™ for themselves.
Step 1: See Self as Muppet Leader – As stated previously this is the process of seeing your MUP Brain™ and PET Brain™ preferred styles if leadership and then combining them into a MUP+PET Combo™ that is unique to you.
Step 2: See Others as Muppets – In this step the Muppet Leader™ must begin to see Muppetry™ everywhere. They must begin to look at all the actions, words and thoughts of their entire staff and consider ways in which it is Muppet-like™. They must come to believe that all are Muppet Leaders™ in waiting.
Step 3: Stop Seeing Self as Muppet Leader – This may seem counterintuitive, but the ultimate aim of genuine Muppet Leadership™ is to lose sight of one’s own muppetishness. Having been initially cognisant of your own Muppet Tendencies (awaiting ™) as a leader, and having become confident in seeing these in others so that it is all you see in them, the journey to the Inner Muppet™ is finally completed when you start to regard what you are doing as completely lacking in muppetishness, especially when it is the actual embodiment of Muppet Leadership™. Once you fail to see your own pig-headedness, toadying and animalistic behaviours (and this can take a period of years in leadership) then you can congratulate yourself on finally becoming the very archetype of a Muppet Leader™.