“Just Trying to Make it in This Business” – Business Lessons from Seinfeld
August 28, 2015
If you don’t consider Seinfeld the best sitcom to ever grace the airwaves, you are sadly mistaken. For a show about nothing (as in there was no plot to the series overall), Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer touched on plenty of real-life issues throughout a whopping 180 episodes. From setting up your answering machine, following proper gym etiquette and asking for a spare square of toilet paper, Seinfeld provides commentary on the issues regular folks deal with in the real world, which is why the show has so much appeal. So what can business professionals take from Seinfeld?
While George is dealing with his ever-present baldness, lack of eyesight and general un-datability, he also is in a constant professional struggle. Between lying about his profession, sleeping under his desk and even having sex with the cleaning woman, George might not be the best example of the employee you should emulate. In George’s case, the business lesson is about what not to do at your job, which is just as valuable. George’s only positive business attribute is his bluntness, which scores him a job with the New York Yankees.
Elaine, too, struggles in her professional life. She deals with strange requests from her boss, is demanded to cease the use of exclamation marks and is even fired on the false pretense of drug use. Throughout the many ups and downs in her career, Elaine always seems to have a job due to her reliability, assertiveness, intelligence and sense of humor – all qualities that make you a valuable employee and team member.
But my favorite professional tale throughout Seinfeld comes from Kramer. Kramer is noted to have received an inheritance earlier in his life, and has time on his hands to do as he pleases. During the show, Kramer briefly works at a bagel shop, serves as a lineup decoy, authors a coffee table book about coffee tables, models Calvin Klein underwear and moves to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Hollywood. That’s not all Kramer has to offer – he’s also an inventor and entrepreneur.
Does Kramer know what he wants to do? Obviously not, but he is overly ambitious about every venture, can pitch just about any idea that pops in his mind and is great with people. He’s willing to take a risk “just to make it in this business,” even if that means making a fool of himself in front of Fred Savage. But at the end of the day, Kramer is only concerned with one thing – TCB: taking care of business – the most valuable quality in any field.