10 Business Lessons To Learn From Michael Scott

Branch managers will have many tricks when it comes to running a successful paper business. The manager at Dunder Mifflin Scranton is the self proclaimed “world’s best boss,” Michael Scott. The comedy, docu-series, The Office, let the nation in on how he runs his branch. Despite his inappropriate workplace behavior, there is a lot to learn from him. Take a look at these 10 lessons from Michael Scott.

Show Appreciation

Show appreciation to your employees. Every year, Michael would take the time to plan a dinner, rehearse a bunch of bad jokes, and come up with an award for every member of his staff to receive at the Dundies. It is a little over the top, and some of the awards were embarrassing (longest engagement and smelliest in the bathroom, looking at you). Although, his heart was in the right place. Putting on a fun event or giving a nice gift is a great way to show your appreciation for all your employees’ hard work. Just spend the time making sure if you do awards, they can be received positively.

Celebrate Holidays

When it comes to the holidays, big or small, Michael celebrated them. The party planning committee always seemed to be doing that more than actual work! Not saying you need to go out of your way for every one, but a get together for one or two out of the year can be a lot of fun and give people something to look forward to. If you have a larger company, this is a great opportunity for other departments to mingle if they normally don’t work with each other. Don’t be afraid to unwind a little bit.

Hate HR

Just kidding, it’s important. Really, it was more of a hate Toby instead of HR, and Michael never let him do his job. For many topics, Michael took them into his own hands. Which led to many inappropriate or awkward conversations in the conference room. Since HR personnel have routine items to take care of like diversity training or sexual harassment in the workplace, give them the time and tools they need to go through with them. Depending on what the topic is, it could be made fun. Just be careful how you do that, or else you’ll end up being one of Michael’s alter ego’s.

Employee Health

Whether it’s offering full benefits, or having a gym built into your building, find a way help your staff stay healthy. People perform better when their minds are stimulated and they have a boost of adrenaline. Create a fitness room or gym to go as an extension of the office. Offer group classes like yoga or do a company wide sport tournament! If you can’t provide that, look to get memberships at a local gym. It’s a nice perk and staff would love the unique accommodations.

Manage Time

Having a busy schedule can be hard to navigate sometimes. Figuring out what to prioritize and decide how much time to spend on something may take a little planning with a calendar. Factor in breaks as needed, but keep them under control. Something like the internet can suck you in, and next thing you know 40 minutes has flown by. From the internship level to the CEO, everyone can benefit from not acting like Michael.

Be The World’s Best Boss

What does this mean? To Michael Scott it’s “friend first, boss second, and probably an entertainer third.” Is he goofy? Yes. Inappropriate? Totally. Personable? Sometimes a little too personal. He really values his staff, and sees them as his best friends. When you can have mutual respect for the people you work with and enjoy their time outside of work, that’s a good culture. Someone who is the “world’s best boss” sets out to find the perfect culture to produce the most efficient work.

Be Persistent

When it comes to cutting a deal, Michael has a few tricks. One of them is being persistant. Make sure you take all the steps you can to set yourself up well. If you aren’t successful in the end, at least you put your best foot forward and can say you did all you can. In the case when Michael was running the Michael Scott Paper Company, he rejected the buyout offer from David Wallace twice. After renegotiating, he was able to land himself, Pam and Ryan full time jobs with benefits back at Dunder Mifflin. “Wouldn’t you rather have a fishing pole than a fish?”



Be A People Person

Another trick for making deals is being personable. Sometimes he may get a little too personal, but for business Michael has the right idea. You see it in many different clips throughout the series. One example displays the difference between making a cold sale and creating a connection when he and Jan take a client out to dinner. Jan wants to get right to business, but Michael interrupts to lengthen the evening and establish a report with him. Ultimately, Michael closes the sale, and Jan is impressed by his methods.



Be Willing To Learn

In any business, it’s important to do research, stay on trends and see if there is a new discovery. Dwight being Michael’s right hand man, always seemed to be the one giving him insightful information. Work related, or beet related. Point is, ask coworkers for advice or what their opinion is on something. They might just give you a spark of inspiration.


Customer Service

Another great thing about Michael Scott and the Dunder Mifflin community is that they always cater to their consumer. Most often then not, having a good relationship with regular customers and new ones closes more sales. One episode Michael had the new sales members partner with veterans on their sales trips. With Phyllis and Karen, they get makeovers just like the client to make a good impression. When speaking with a client, make good eye contact, smile, ask how their family is doing, and cater to their needs.

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