With Andy Griffith’s passing this week, I’m reminded of how truly great the Andy Griffith Show was. Characters in the show were always getting into trouble and Andy Taylor, the sheriff and leader of the town, had the responsibility of teaching people lessons.
Most consistently, Andy was teaching lessons to his right hand man and deputy, Barney Fife (played by the late Don Knotts). Though Barney was a bit of a klutz to say the least, he thought quite highly of himself and his knowledge of, well, just about everything. More often than not, Barney would get himself into trouble as a result of his wild ego. No matter how bad of a situation Barney dug, Andy always had an answer for it.
The variable, however, was that Barney was a very sensitive human being. His large ego would bruise like a peach if he ever found out he was wrong. And boy was he stubborn as a mule, too. So instead of scolding Barney and telling him he was (obviously) wrong, Andy could always find a way of leading him to discovering (on his own) the right answer or showing that he was the hero of the day. There are just so many episodes of Andy Griffith that contained this plot, but it was different and entertaining every time.
So the Andy Griffith Show really taught us how we can be leaders. Andy Taylor was never one to take credit from someone else, in fact he was the largest promoter of others. He believed that people were genuinely good at their core and that with a gentle nudge, help get people on the right track.
Andy never represented the “me too” and “look at me” mentalities that have become so common. He was selfless, authentic, and respected in the community. And he always found a good life balance as a single father.
So I encourage you to go watch some Andy Griffith. Take some tips from one of the greatest leaders on television. No, he may not have revolutionized the world with his leadership, but he certainly made an impact on the small town of Mayberry. Just ask Barney, Opie, Aunt Bee, Floyd, Gomer, Goober, Otis, or the others.
Rest in Peace Andy. And by the way, my grandmother, who was a member of the Davis Sisters, had the opportunity to sing with Andy in the 1950s. Here is a photo of them waiting in a basement (for hours – great story behind it) prior to going on stage.
- Georgia Davis, Davis Sisters with Andy Griffith
Can you remember any great Andy moments? What was your favorite episode? Do you recall any episodes that prove my blog wrong?
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