Most of us at Addison Clark HQ are avid fans of The Big Bang Theory (just revealed to be the most expensive television show for advertisers – because it’s the best! Duh!). Even if you don't watch the show, you have likely heard a thing or two about the character Sheldon Cooper. He is a genius with an IQ of 187, but he struggles with social situations - which is a combination that makes the show quite entertaining . He may be egotistical, awkward, and love to throw around big words such as "axiomatic," but when it comes down to it, he does have a few useful qualities that we can use in our professional lives.
Let’s take a look at the example of Dr. Sheldon Cooper, B.S., M.S., M.A., Ph.D., Sc.D:
Have a routine. Sheldon has his entire group of friends on a schedule of weekly activities. For example, one night of each week is Pizza night, one night of the week is spent at the Comic Book Store, etc. His obsession with routine may be to a fault, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a thing or two from it! Having a routine in your workday can keep you on track and productive. For example, when I get to the office I like to check emails first, then make a to-do list for the day. However, the most important thing to remember when developing a routine that works for you is that no day is the same. While this is one fact that Sheldon would freak out about, if you can accept that unexpected tasks are going to happen, you'll be up to any challenge that awaits you.
Be confident. On many occasions throughout the show, Sheldon has begun sentences with, “When I win my Nobel Prize…” There’s no if, there’s no shred of disbelief in his voice – he is certain that he’s going to get that prize during his lifetime. Like Sheldon, we should have confidence in ourselves in order to reach our goals. Believing in yourself also gives your coworkers and employers a reason to believe in you, which will make you shine in the workplace.
Speak your mind… This is something that Sheldon has no problem with. Anytime he disagrees with his best friend and loftmate, Leonard, he doesn’t hold back (and he often references their “roommate agreement,” a signed contract outlining acceptable and unacceptable behavior in their apartment). Picking fights in the workplace is NOT cool, but thoughtfully expressing your opinions on certain matters can work in your favor. No matter what your role in your company is, chances are that at some point, employers and clients will look to you for advice in some capacity. You’ll need to be ready to share your thoughts in order to seal a deal, advance your career, or simply carry on a conversation.
…But apologize when you’re in the wrong. Sheldon made a big boo-boo once that affected the future of his friend Howard. He told an FBI agent about a mishap with the Mars Rover that Howard was involved in, which caused him to miss out on a big opportunity to work for the Department of Defense. Sheldon spent the latter part of the episode apologizing to Howard and trying to convince the FBI that Howard was right for the job. The point is, we all make mistakes. Taking responsibility for those mistakes makes you trustworthy - and more than likely, it’s not going to turn out as bad as you think it is.
Have some fun! Many of The Big Bang Theory’s funniest moments involve Shelly breaking away from his serious side and having fun. While he is a genius, he also enjoys jokes and pranks (even though most of the jokes are not funny to others, and the pranks- like foam in Barry Kripke’s office- tend to backfire). I’m not saying to go out today and plan a big prank for your coworkers, but I think there’s value in laughter in the office. Did you find a funny video on YouTube last night? Gather your work friends around the computer and share – or at least send out the link so they can enjoy! Bazinga!
And most importantly, be yourself. Sheldon loves comic books, the Doppler Effect, video games, The Flash, and trains. The thing I most admire about him is that no matter what weird quirks he may have, he doesn’t hide who he is. Always be true to who you are, and you’ll get wherever you want to go in your career and in your personal life.
Bonus: 5 MORE Tips from Sheldon Cooper -
- When someone is in distress, offer them a hot beverage. If they’ve been drinking, that beverage is coffee. And serve it with a smile.
- Stay safe in the shower by purchasing adhesive, whimsical duck stickers for the bottom of the tub.
- If you’re going to be drinking wine and giving a speech, make sure there are no cameras around. You just might end up on YouTube with no pants.
- Don’t listen to Wil Wheaton! He spreads lies about his Meemaw to win card games!
- When someone is sick, help them into bed, tuck them in, and sing “Soft Kitty.” Works every time.
Written By: Jocy Vuiller
*P.S. - I'm a Marketing Manager, not a Human Resources manager or business owner; these are just lessons I've found helpful in my career. Take it as you will!