World’s Best Boss


If there’s one person in this world who understands business, it is Michael Scott. Michael Scott, played by Steve Carrell, is the Regional Manager of a paper company named Dunder Mifflin in NBC’s hit show, The Office. For those of you who have seen the show, you may be wondering how in the world Michael Scott understands business. For those of you who have never seen the show,  Michael is probably the best procrastinator of all time. Think of the laziest college student you know and multiply it by ten. He absolutely despises doing work. Once a month, Michael is tasked with validating quarterly reports by signing the documents. He procrastinates all day by prank calling one of his employees and fighting one of his employees at the karate dojo. At the end of the day, the rest of his employees must forge the signature for him.

So how then does Michael run a successful branch of Dunder Mifflin? Simple, he manages relationships with all of his stakeholders. Michael often refers to the employees of Dunder Mifflin as his family. He will do anything he can to create a positive work environment for these people so that they enjoy coming to work. Although his employees always complain about coming into work, they always end up having an eventful day, full of surprises with Michael around. He often hosts company events to help increase company morale. For example, he has an event every year at a local restaurant where he presents “Dundies” to his employees. Michael Scott acts as the dashing host where he presents awards to each employee. The awards are absolutely hysterical. One of the employees receives a Dundie for having the “the whitest shoes”.

Michael also knows how to manage relationships with his clients. This is where he thrives at being a boss. He personally knows each and every one of his clients. He makes it his responsibility to know all about his client’s kids and their activities. (Side note, he wanted his username on an online dating site to be “Little Kid Lover”) In one of my favorite episodes of the show, Michael personally delivers gift baskets to former clients in order to get them back. Although, his plan doesn’t work, it does show his dedication to always being there for his clients. Here is his absurd reaction to being denied.

His desire to know about his clients on a personal level shows in their sales. Dunder Mifflin Scranton constantly outperforms the other branches. When the company faces bankruptcy, Dunder Mifflin-Scranton is the only branch to maintain a profitable quarter. This is revealed at the annual shareholder meeting for Dunder Mifflin. Shareholders are outraged because the price of their shares has dropped dramatically. Michael is honored at the annual meeting for having a profitable quarter. CEO, David Wallace, whispers to Michael the the company is going bankrupt at the shareholder meeting. Michael, clueless about this, reiterates into the microphone, “We’re going bankrupt?” Shareholders and the general public find out about the company’s financial struggles. However, the CEO was not planning to tell them about this struggle. This reflects a firm’s willingness to lie to the public. It reminded me of Lehman, when Erin Callan was pretty much lying to the public about earnings.

Michael reminded me of a boss who valued the stakeholder which contributed to his success. The series was truly fantastic from start to finish.

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6 thoughts on “World’s Best Boss”

  1. I think you really hit the nail on the head for how the series was such a success. While Michael Scott definitely has over the top levels of enthusiasm, the examples you’ve mentioned make it believable for this man to be a Regional Manager. I think that it is common for people to imagine someone like Dick Fuld and Erin Callan when they think of business men and women. Michael Scott shows the other extreme and gives a more optimistic idea of business leadership. How do compare the Michael Scott to the leadership Dunder Mifflin experienced in the Sabre era?

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  2. I completely agree with you that the “World’s Best Boss” may not always be the Dick Fuld or Erin Callan, but Michael is a prime example who values stakeholderism. I think there is a great deal of value investing in your stakeholders especially employees because at the end of the end of the day they are the people who works with you and get the job done. I see employee happiness and satisfaction as the key to the success of a business. Happy employees = Happy customers.

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  3. This is why Dwight never makes it as branch manager (at least until the very end of the series). He is ambitious and smart, but he doesn’t build the same relationships Michael does. For example, in the episode where he and Michael take down Prince Family Paper, Dwight is the one who coerces Michael into stealing the competitor’s clients.

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  4. Michael certainly isn’t a model boss (he is pretty much clueless about everything going on around him), but his heart is always in the right place. Every time he makes a mistake, it is genuine and he has no intention of hurting anyone. His goals are always morally sound and he is always willing to give people a second chance, like when Dwight goes behind his back to Jan in an attempt to become branch manager.

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