Michael Scott’s Surprisingly Valuable Insight into Being a Great Boss

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Boss’s Day is almost here, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the occasion than by quoting Michael Scott from the hit show The Office. If you’ve ever watched the show, then you already know how important being a great boss was to the Michael Scott character. He wasn’t always the most astute manager under the sun, but he did have a number of great insights real world bosses can use.

Without further ado, here are our top picks for incredible Michael Scott Boss Day quotes and why they are so inspirational.

THE QUOTE:

“Ed Truck, yuck. Ed Truck was the manager before me. Horrible. He hated fun. It was like, oh Ed Truck is walking toward us, stop having fun. Start pretending to do work. What a jerk…”

THE BOSS TAKEAWAY:

No one wants to work in a dismal environment where they feel like the bosses are hawking over employees. Creating a fun work environment, on the other hand, can improve productivity, motivation, job satisfaction and task performance.

THE QUOTE:

“You need to play to win. But you also have to win to play.”

THE BOSS TAKEAWAY:

This is one of the most-quoted Michael Scott catchphrases because it’s pure genius. He’s pointing out that you have to participate and put in quality work before the celebration, and without the win there’s nothing to celebrate. Having fun at work is important for employee morale, but it can’t be at the sacrifice of the business. Adopting a work hard, play hard policy will keep employees motivated and productive because their hard work is going to be rewarded

THE QUOTE:

“Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”

THE BOSS TAKEAWAY:

When asked if he’d rather be feared or loved, Michael’s response was a mixture of both. Some of the world’s greatest leaders were loved by many because they had earned people’s admiration and respect. That sometimes means making tough decisions that won’t make everyone happy, but ultimately doing the right thing will win people over.

Part of that love others feel toward leaders results from the charisma they exude. Michael Scott, for all his workplace faux pas, had a warmth and presence that his team responded favorably to. Recently we discussed how charisma can be a vital asset for anyone in the workplace.

THE QUOTE:

“Make friends first, make sales second, make love third. In no particular order.”

THE BOSS TAKEAWAY:

While the third part is questionable, part one and two are sound advice for sales teams, and in fact, any team. Great sales managers understand that selling – and conducting business in general–is really about building relationships. For help transforming your own workplace relationships, try reading our Relationship Guide.

THE QUOTE:

“An employee will go home and ask his neighbor, “Hey, did you get an award?” “No man. I mean I slave all day and no one notices.” Next thing you know, he smells something funny from his neighbor’s house. Neighbor hanged himself due to lack of recognition.”

THE BOSS TAKEAWAY:

The example is a tad bit dramatic, but the logic is sound. People appreciate having their efforts acknowledged. If not, the lack of recognition can cause resentment. That’s not to say doing the essentials of a job calls for accolades however, a good boss knows to give credit where credit is due.

THE QUOTE:

“Never, ever, ever give up.”

THE BOSS TAKEAWAY:

Despite his many setbacks at work and in his personal life, Michael Scott never gave up and he encouraged his employees to follow his lead. He understood that adversity shouldn’t define the outcome. That setbacks and failure are a part of life, and you can’t let it deter you from your goals.

As a manager, taking the philosophy of learning from mistakes rather than fearing them can lead to amazing innovation. As a business owner and entrepreneur it’s a must-have mindset if you want to make it past the startup phase.

THE QUOTE:

“Granted, maybe this was not the best idea, but at least we care enough about our employees that we are willing to fight for them. And if you so much as harm a hair on Stanley’s head, we will burn Utica to the ground.”

THE BOSS TAKEAWAY

When a competing branch tried to lure away one of his top sales people, Michael Scott took action—well, kind of. He ended up smashing their industrial copier. That aside, fighting for his employees is something Michael showed throughout his tenure at Dunder Mifflin.

Being a boss means taking a vested interest in your employees and looking out for them. It also means understanding what their long-term goals are so you can help guide your people toward achieving them.

THE QUOTE:

“I guess the atmosphere that I’ve tried to create here is that I’m a friend first and a boss second, and probably an entertainer third.”

THE BOSS TAKEAWAY:

At the end of the day, even the Michael Scott critics have to admire the passion and love he had for Dunder Mifflin and the people that worked there (minus Toby). The loyalty and concern he felt for his employees was what really made Michael Scott an admirable boss and helped him win over the people that worked for him. When an employee feels like their boss cares about them as a person, a solid foundation of trust can be built.

THE QUOTE:

“A good manager doesn’t fire people. He hires people and inspires people. People, Ryan. People will never go out of business.”

THE BOSS TAKEAWAY:

Business is about much more than turning a profit at the end of the day. It’s about growth and having something to share with the people around you. Of course there are times when you may have to fire someone—there are circumstances for everything. But as a boss, your first job is the development of those around you. You fulfill your goals when other people meet theirs.

What’s your favorite Michael Scott quote? Share them with us this Boss’s Day!