5 leadership lessons to learn from Lucy

Aaron Sorkin’s new film Being the Ricardos—in regards to the First Couple of TV Sitcoms, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz—began streaming on Prime Video this week, and social media already has tons of questions, ranging from the casting alternative of Nicole Kidman to whether or not or not the time period “gaslight” would have been used as a verb within the Nineteen Fifties.

Casting and alleged anachronisms apart, enterprise leaders can learn loads from the barrier-breaking girl who achieved a lot within the working world throughout a time when most American ladies have been homemakers like . . . Lucy Ricardo. Let’s break down 5 leadership takeaways from 70 years in the past which might be simply as relevant right now.

Female bosses rule

Ball was not simply the face of I Love Lucy but additionally a studio government; she and then-husband Arnaz began Desilu Productions. She maintained a number of management over the TV present that put the pair on the map collectively. Her creativity and imaginative and prescient have been noteworthy, and he or she’s the one who fought CBS to get her Cuban-born husband to play reverse her on the present.


Self-branding is vital

The sequence that made Lucy a family title for generations accommodates her actual title as a result of she shared it together with her character. (Arnaz had no such luck; his character was named Ricky as a result of they didn’t need the couple on the present to be confused with the real-life couple.) Subsequent initiatives additionally included “Lucy” within the title, similar to Ball’s later sitcoms, The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy, and Life with Lucy. The title of her forward-positioned manufacturing firm additionally contains a part of her title. Her branding course of prolonged to merchandising, too. Ball’s purple hair was unforgettable and, like her enshrined moniker, made her exhausting to substitute. According to the Library of Congress, her present generated tons of merchandise, together with paper dolls, jewellery, clothes, knickknacks, and a comic book e-book sequence.

Have a supportive group

The folks backing Ball ranged from I Love Lucy head author Jess Oppenheimer, whom she credited for a lot of the present’s success, to Arnaz, who was astute sufficient to have reruns in thoughts (earlier than reruns have been even a factor!) by insisting the sequence be recorded on better-quality 35mm movie somewhat than kinescope. And whereas performing, Ball loved the back-and-forth with two different gifted costars, William Frawley and Vivian Vance, as Fred and Ethel Mertz. (Fun-ish truth: Though they performed a married couple, Vance and Frawley hated one another off display screen.)

Pick your battles

Sure, it’s best to learn this in elementary college, however these in administration roles want to keep in mind it greater than most—and just a little refresher by no means harm. Together with Arnaz, Ball gained two notable battles throughout her profession: incorporating her real-life being pregnant into I Love Lucy as a storyline and making certain that Desilu Productions retained the possession rights to the sequence.

Take possibilities

At the time Ball’s signature present was created, TV was a younger, unproven medium. Her willingness to star on a TV sitcom might have risked her future prospects in films and her repute as a “serious” actor. In Ball’s private life, divorcing Arnaz in 1960 (after their present was over) might’ve put the enjoyable, slapstick view of their TV marriage in jeopardy. But, staying true to herself, she went on to see her profession proceed to thrive for many years.



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