Charles Shultz was one of the most famous and influential cartoonists of all time with his creation of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang. For almost 50 years this group of characters had influence on our lives. The Peanuts Gang gave us many of our quotes and common catchphrases of today such as “Good grief”, “AAUGH”, “That’s the way it goes….” and “Happiness is a warm puppy”.
The cartoon strip created by Shultz spawned numerous TV specials, 45 to be exact, and every Thanksgiving there is 50’ tall Snoopy that makes its way down 5th Avenue as part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The impact of Charlie Brown is far reaching, much farther than just the US. Shultz created 17,897 comic strips in 2600 newspapers and translated into 21 different languages.
The Peanuts comic strip was also the first major comic strip to introduce a character of color. In 1968, three months after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, Shultz created Franklin. He was a minority character whose debut was him picking up and returning a beach ball that Charlie Brown had lost.
The big question to answer after learning about the impact of the Peanuts comic strip is…What kind of legacy will you leave as a leader? After half a decade of leadership what will be the impact that you have? Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang left an incredible legacy. As leaders, the impact we have on others is part of our legacy. How we influence others with our leadership, the methods we use to guide change, how we advance diversity and inclusion, the style of supervision that we choose to employ… all of this is part of our legacy. Let’s lead in a way that has a positive impact on the future.