Which of The Walking Dead characters would you want on your business crisis team?

21 Feb

Daryl is the coolest character in The Walking Dead

There’s always a lively discussion around the Copeland boardroom table on Monday mornings concerning the previous night’s episode of The Walking Dead.

Now that the TV series seems to be taking a welcome turn down a darker alley, the deeper natures of the main characters are coming to light.

Naturally that got me thinking how each would function in a crisis on your business team.

Who are the keepers and which ones should you best leave outside without a key?

Glen in IT

Glen is a survivor on The Walking DeadHe’s resourceful, ingenious and honest to a fault. But during the bar scene with Rick and Herschel – a quiet crisis that took maturity to spot – Glen was all set to give away the farm. His honesty and trusting nature would have spelled disaster for our castaways if Rick had not been there to moderate the discussion. Glen will panic. Yes he brings some interesting resources to the table, but he will bring disaster to you. Chuck him.

Rick, Managing Director

Rick is a survivor from The Walking DeadLike Glen, our Head Boy Scout is honest to the core. He is also growing a pair as the series matures. Does he make some woolly-headed decisions? He sure does. Leading those swamp zombies around like pets on a leash to appease Herschel? Poor strategy and no evidence of being quick on his feet. He wants to do the right thing and is ethical to a fault. But the business world is changing and he has finally realized he needs to change right along with it. Keep him.

Shane in Sales

Shane is a survivor from The Walking DeadAmbitious, unorthodox, disrespectful of authority (unless its his own) and a classic whack-a-doodle. He will do what no one else in your company will do to keep the business alive. He is the G. Gordon Liddy of the team. You turn him loose at your own peril. On the flip side, he will see the crisis coming while the rest of your team is playing kerplunk over chips and salsa around the boardroom table. He’s a survivor, but he will survive over your dead body. Your call.

Lori, Head of Marketing

Lori is a survivor from The Walking DeadYou can decry the lack of solid female characters until your throat is bleeding, but the smell will only attract the walkers. Lori – memorably nicked Olive Oyl by Daryl – has a big department to look after and often can’t see the forest for the trees. And she’s a mess behind the wheel. Yes, she’s loyal and has the MD’s back, but she also slept with Shane in Sales, so she’s not a pivotal person on your crisis team. Send her out to buy sandwiches. Don’t let her back in.

Dale in Accounting

Dale is a survivor in The Walking DeadHe’ll be tut-tutting everything that doesn’t line up with his own personal moral code, which makes him a bit of a negative-nelly-I-told-you-so irritant. He also has a smug satisfaction in being old school. The thing is, Dale has experience. He manages to keep his wits about him when all hell’s breaking loose and keeps his eye on the guns. He also knows a rat in the woodpile when he sees one: that kind of insight could prove useful. I say keep Dale, but keep him quiet.

Andrea, Research and Development

Andrea is a survivor in The Walking DeadShe sees that Shane in Sales is ambitious and gravitates to him as the future of the company, which has alienated others on the team. On the other hand, she is one of your superstars, growing by leaps and bounds, and crisis invigorates her. She is best utilized in a supporting role for now. Turn her loose on crisis management best practices and have her deliver a white paper to the entire team. Give her some responsibility that recognizes her forward progress – but mind her blinders when it comes to backing the wrong horse.

Daryl the general contractor

Daryl is a survivor in  The Walking DeadJust because he’s under the sink hooking up the dishwasher hose again for the hundredth time doesn’t mean he isn’t listening. Or learning. Who cares right? He’s not even on the team! He’s just some contractor who’s always there fixing things. Well pay attention to the working class guy. This redneck sees past the business bullshit to the true nature of a crisis. Is it a lack of intestinal heft on the team? Are you over-thinking the problem or over-reacting to it? Daryl’s your guy. He’s not a people person, but he’s a problem solver. He’s handy with a Bowie knife too and doesn’t suffer Shane’s ambitions. Just don’t expect him to hang around if a better job comes along.

Herschel, the Chairman

Herschel is a survivor in The Walking DeadCrisis does one of two things to people: convinces them they are not up to the task, in which case they turn to drink, or forces them to change and grow. Your old Chairman has been doing things his way for so long, it’s hard to imagine him changing at this stage. The technology scares him, he hates social media and doesn’t know what the hell you mean by cross-analyzing the data sets. But he didn’t get to where he is without entrepreneurial skills and a willingness to roll up his sleeves. Since Dale is such a wet tea bag, put Hershel front and centre on your crisis team as the voice of experience. Just make sure Daryl is standing behind him with a loaded crossbow.

Carol in Human Resources

Carol is a survivor in The Walking DeadAsk her to go outside and pick some flowers for the boardroom table. Lock the door behind her.





Ok great – the team is in place. Now throw open those boardroom doors and meet the crisis head on!

zombie hands coming through the door

(Daryl photo courtesy of tvfanatic.com)


9 Responses to “Which of The Walking Dead characters would you want on your business crisis team?”

  1. Amy February 21, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    This is so spot on! But no love for Carol, huh? I can see her being a good ax-man – she could fire someone and when they stand up and call her names, she’d just take it.
    And can I have the number for that contractor? Um, for a friend.

  2. Doug Brown February 21, 2012 at 7:57 am #

    You could actually use Carol as the fall-gal. Blame something she didn’t do on her and know that she will take one for the team But I’m afraid she’s not doing it out of selflessness but lack of a clear understanding of what’s going down.

    Daryl: 555-1212

  3. Sam Brown (@samuelmbrown) February 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    What about T-Dog? Honestly, I’d probably pass on him anyway. Seems like the type of guy that is always trying to appease others’ expectations, but never quite does so. Also, he seems like a bit of a moper so he’s probably not the best guy in a crisis situation.

  4. Doug Brown February 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    T-Dog. Meh. He’s a nothing character isn’t he Sam…like the kid or Glen’s squeeze. Just background noise – and not very memorable noise at that. Conveniently disposable when the crisis needs to claim a victim.

  5. Avril February 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    Okay so first of all this blog post is genious but wrong – sorry Doug.
    As I chuckled and read through your picks I couldn’t help but disagree with your placement of Rick and Andrea. And while predictable and safe to go with Rick as the managing director I would suggest that Andrea would be a much stronger leader. Rick is weak on strategy and is not quick to make a decision (althought that could be changing) and his wife had an affair and he hasn’t even figured that out yet.
    Andrea on the other hand is a thinker, is great in times of crisis and has experienced great personal loss and survived just fine.
    Just my two cents 🙂

  6. Doug Brown February 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    I’m not going to disagree with you Avril…because I suspect Rick’s current seniority to Andrea is a function of pre-crisis perception of his leadership abilities. There is definitely a shakeup going on here at the management level! Then again Andrea is also shagging Shane in Sales, which may hurt her longer term corporate ambitions.

  7. Paige February 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    Carol is so HR! I will watch the show with new eyes. Great post.

  8. Doug Brown February 22, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    Thanks Paige! Personally I’m most proud of Shane in Sales, but only because it gave me the opportunity to write that Lori slept with him.


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