Stupid is as Stupid Does

Lessons from Forrest Gump

Written by Deanna Hunter

I’m a big fan of the movie Forrest Gump. It’s a great story with some great characters and who doesn’t love Tom Hanks? What I really liked about Forrest was the way he lived his life. He was polite and respectful. He took care of the important people in his life. He spoke up for himself when he needed to…“Stupid is as Stupid does”. He didn’t judge others, he worked very hard and committed to everything he did. He liked to have fun, was authentic and he didn’t try to be anybody other than himself. These are some good rules to live by.

I’m an HR practitioner at heart so I can’t help considering Forrest Gump from a business perspective too. For example, we all know that Forrest was not the sharpest tool in the shed but yet he did pretty well for himself. He lived a simple life with a wife and child, a comfortable home, some good friends, and oh ya … a multi-million dollar business!

The HR lady in me couldn’t help but think about the employee Policy Manual at Bubba Gump Shrimp. My hunch is that it looked something like this:

  • Keep it simple: the answer is probably right in front of you.
  • Be nice: don’t tease your teammates and don’t let them tease anyone else.
  • Be honest: say what you mean and do what you say you are going to do.
  • Work hard and don’t forget to have fun.

Our lives and our workplaces, have become fast-paced, complicated and often messy. When is the last time you looked at your policy manual and got rid of all the stuff that doesn’t work or doesn’t really matter? Perhaps we should get back to the basics and approach life and work like Forrest Gump did. Simply.

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