How the Budweiser Frogs Illustrate the 3 C’s of Leadership

The skills and behaviors of leadership are accessible to anyone with average intelligence. Being smart helps, but it isn’t necessary.

Effective leadership is challenging, but the next step usually isn’t complicated. The challenge is taking it.

(click the image to see the commercial)

3 C’s of Meaningful Leadership:

The Budweiser commercial from 1995 illustrates three dynamic skills that lead to meaningful leadership.


One frog is a boring bud. Three frogs sell beer. (You really should watch the commercial.)

  1. Isolation limits effectiveness.
  2. Standing aloof dilutes influence.

Leaders need others. You’d look foolish running a meeting in an empty room.

Consider yourself ‘one of’, not ‘one above’. A leadership role doesn’t make you better than the people you work with.

The more you work-with the more effective you become.

Distance is ignorance, fear, arrogance, or all three.

Connection is as simple as:

  1. Genuine curiosity.
  2. Belief in others.
  3. Supporting people when they challenge themselves.


Each Budweiser Frog contributes.

Contribute-to if you aspire to connect-with.

Contribution enhances meaning and strengthens connection. Perhaps you aren’t contributing-TO because you’re worried about the contribution OF others.

Who are you fighting-for? Ineffective leaders fight-for themselves.

Stop fighting-with and start fighting-for those imperfect others on your team.

Never use the imperfection of others as reason to disconnect, stand aloof, and complain.


Conformity is the channel for meaningful contribution.

Think of individual musicians in an orchestra. Each brings their individual contribution in conformity or alignment with others.

You cannot do your own thing – in isolation – and contribute to something bigger than yourself.

A clear goal – along with talent, alignment, and humility – enables healthy conformity.

What leadership lessons might you see in the Budweiser Frogs?

What skills help leaders connect, contribute, and/or conform?