A Rose By Any Other Name: The Leadership of Schitts Creek

schitts creek

Netflix darling Schitt$ Creek swept the recent Emmys, but it’s not the first time this series—which followed the misadventures of the displaced Rose family in small-town USA—has stolen hearts. Aside from its soft quirk and hard wit, what is it that brings people to this show?

If you don’t know the gist, here it is: the show centers on the Roses, a family from the 1% that through a series of unfortunate events and misplaced trust, find themselves living out of a motel in the rundown town of Schitt’s Creek.

The town starts adjusting to the new and exciting Roses, while the Roses start settling into a slower-paced, more casual environment. Over the course of the show, everyone starts to realize they are exactly where they need to be, and that their strengths (and hidden talents) are enriched by crossing each other’s paths. That really resonated with us at Alterity. The heart of our diversity training focuses on the experiences that bring all of us to our respective places at the table. Our various cultural, sexual, neural, and worldwide backgrounds shape who we are and how we interact with each other, but sometimes it can be hard to get out of our comfort zones.

WARNING: Here be spoilers!

Which is where Schitt$ Creek really shines. It is more than its “riches to rags” gimmick, as the town begins to transform the Roses and the Roses begin to transform the town. As the series progresses, you see a shift as they begin to organically accept—and even enjoy—their new home. The patriarch, Johnny, gets back in touch with his entrepreneurial roots as he helps the motel host salvage her business, to the point where he is even willing to pull double duty doing maintenance in the motel. His wife Moira, the flashy soap opera actress turned mom, reconnects with her first love—the stage—and revamps the local community theatre scene. Alexis, their socialite daughter, eventually sheds her phone and fake friends and discovers a knack for marketing that she uses to promote businesses around town. And David, the tetchily en vogue son, warms his way into his father’s footsteps and starts his own business.

At the same time, the Roses rub off on the town. The residents start to see the value of improving their local scene and government. For example, when David opens his apothecary, he rejuvenates a hitherto quiet downtown scene. While the town starts in an apprehensive, old-dog state of mind, they soon start leaning into all the new and invigorating ideas the Roses bring to the down-home table. In turn, the Roses begin to understand that there’s more to life than champagne wishes and caviar dreams, and learn what they are made of. That even though they seemingly lost everything, there was something that was always there, just waiting to be shared in the right place, with the right people, and at the right time.

What sort of town are you building? When we all bring our experiences and wandered miles to the employment stage, we can shine like Moira. Listening and finding the heartbeat of our workplace is like Johnny fixing up the motel, or Alexis creating her own career path. Knowing what we are made of and taking a chance to share it with those around us is a lot like David finally learning to open up to the town.

It can be scary to take a flying leap of faith from our comfort zones, whether you’re small-town or larger than life. Our Respectful Workplace Program will give you and your employees the tools needed to build something just as good as the main street through Schitt’s Creek.

Image credit: https://www.poptv.com/schittscreek/about