Michael Scott is one of the most memorable bosses of all time. He’s made some interesting (to say the least) management choices. But let’s not forget that his team at Dunder Mifflin had the highest numbers and lowest turnover in the company. So what can we learn from Michael Scott’s management style? Let’s find out.

1. “The people that you work with are, when you get down to it, your very best friends.”


While we cannot fact check the accuracy of this statement, Michael Scott was onto something here. According to a study done by Gallup:

people who have a best friend at work are 7x more likely to engage fully in their work.

Michael Scott, you are a genius.

2. “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.”


Scott, obviously sees his employees as an extension of his family #WorkFam. It’s kind of true. Think about it, you do spend 40 plus hours per week with those weirdos. Which in most cases is more time than you’re actually spending with your nuclear family.

Great leaders recognize the value and strengths in their individual employees. They raise their employees up and bring out the best in them.

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


Michael Scott just wants to be loved! But as a boss you can’t focus on just being liked by your employees. It’s important to understand that being a great leader is a mix between earning respect from your employees but being compassionate to their needs. A remarkable leader encompasses trust, compassion, and stability.

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


It may sound fluffy but it’s all about Dunder Mifflin’s bottom line. Make sales, ok that one’s obvious, what about the love and friends bit? A study done by Linkedin found that:

Among Millennials, friendships in the workplace make them feel happy (57%), motivated (50%), and productive (39%)

So we can clearly ascertain that Michael Scott was suggesting that close relationships are what drive community, engagement and enjoyment at work.

5. “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.”


Okay this example might be a bit macabre but I think you get the point. Michael understands that employees want to be recognized for their hard work.

According to BambooHR:

75% of employees receiving at least monthly recognition (even if informal) are satisfied with their job

In workplaces where opportunity and well-being were a valued part of the company culture, strong manager performance in recognizing employee performance has been shown to increase engagement by nearly 60%.

6. “I, understand — nothing.”


I know what you’re thinking, but stick with me here… Whether at work or back in your high school days, we’ve all experienced someone else taking credit for our hard work. Scotty boy keeps it real with a heaping dose of humility, and who doesn’t respect a humble manager?!?!

Follow these 6 Michael Scott tips and we guarantee that you will be awarded next years “World’s Best Boss”. HR might hate you but your employees will love you. If we missed any quotes, add them in the comments below (don’t hold out on us) and don’t forget to share and subscribe for more free leadership advice.


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By | March 24th, 2017|Employee Engagement|

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