Skip
Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

What You Can Learn from NBC's The Office

  • <p><strong>Michael's Mistake:</strong> When Michael takes everyone on a booze cruise to motivate the team, he tries to make a point by pretending the ship is about to sink. Pandemonium ensues.</p>

<p><strong>The Lesson:</strong>  Whether the boat you're referring to is real or just a metaphor for your company, motivational speeches should not put everyone around you in panic mode. Focus on something more positive.</p>
  • <p><strong>Michael's Mistake:</strong>  To reprimand Dwight for allegedly stabbing him in the back, Michael forces him to do his laundry every week.</p>

<p><strong>The Lesson:</strong>  No matter how much you dislike someone, don't let disciplinary measures turn into a personal vendetta. Let the guys in HR handle that.</p>
  • <p><strong>Michael's Mistake:</strong>  At Phyllis's wedding, Michael tries to make the day about him by interrupting the ceremony and making an embarrassing toast that ends with the groom attacking him.</p>

<p><strong>The Lesson:</strong>  Sometimes the spotlight belongs to someone else. Also, don't let employees trick you into thinking you have a part in their wedding just so they can get extra vacation days for their honeymoon.</p>
  • <p><strong>Michael's Mistake:</strong>  When Ryan invites Michael to speak at one of his college classes, Michael tells the students college is useless and tears the pages out of a textbook to illustrate his point. </p>

<p><strong>The Lesson:</strong>  Never underestimate the power of an education. In the final episode of Season 3, Ryan gets the last laugh by landing a job Michael thought would be his.</p>
  • <p><strong>Michael's Mistake:</strong>  Michael thinks he found a great new suit on sale, but the other employees soon realize it was made for a woman.</p>

<p><strong>The Lesson:</strong>  Looking professional is important in gaining the respect of employees and your superiors. Check the label carefully before buying anything from the bargain bin.</p>
  • <p><strong>Michael's Mistake:</strong>  A client refuses to accept a voucher for free paper after Dunder-Mifflin issues a product recall, so Michael tells her to call the "Ungrateful Beeyotch Hotline" at a press conference.</p> 

<p><strong>The Lesson:</strong>  Name calling is no way to win over a client, especially in front of the press. It's not true that all publicity is good publicity.</p>
  • <p><strong>Michael's Mistake:</strong>  After receiving some dating advice from the female employees, Michael decides to thank them with a trip to Victoria's Secret.</p> 

<p><strong>The Lesson:</strong>  Establishing boundaries with employees is crucial for maintaining a professional working environment. Stick with less risqué gifts, like coffee mugs and restaurant gift certificates.</p>
  • <p><strong>Michael's Mistake:</strong>  Michael thinks he's getting a big promotion so he devises a series of tasks, including a fire walk and a hot dog eating contest, to choose his successor.</p>

<p><strong>The Lesson:</strong>  Make sure performance evaluations are relevant and humane. An employee's worth should not be judged by how many pork products he or she can stomach.</p>
  • <p><strong>Michael's Mistake:</strong>  As he heads to his interview for a job at Dunder-Mifflin's corporate headquarters, Michael reveals he has sold his home to the highest bidder.</p>

<p><strong>The Lesson:</strong>  Aside from the fact that eBay probably doesn't make the best real estate agent, don't rearrange your whole life around a job you might not get. It will save you a great deal of hassle in the long run.</p>
  • <p><strong>Michael's Mistake:</strong>  Although Michael claims it was an accident when he runs over Meredith with a company car, the other employees have their doubts.</p>

<p><strong>The Lesson:</strong> Taking out your aggression on your employees is a good way to get yourself fired and your company sued. Leave your personal problems at home.</p>
  • 01 /10

    Michael's Mistake: When Michael takes everyone on a booze cruise to motivate the team, he tries to make a point by pretending the ship is about to sink. Pandemonium ensues.

    The Lesson: Whether the boat you're referring to is real or just a metaphor for your company, motivational speeches should not put everyone around you in panic mode. Focus on something more positive.

  • 02 /10

    Michael's Mistake: To reprimand Dwight for allegedly stabbing him in the back, Michael forces him to do his laundry every week.

    The Lesson: No matter how much you dislike someone, don't let disciplinary measures turn into a personal vendetta. Let the guys in HR handle that.

  • 03 /10

    Michael's Mistake: At Phyllis's wedding, Michael tries to make the day about him by interrupting the ceremony and making an embarrassing toast that ends with the groom attacking him.

    The Lesson: Sometimes the spotlight belongs to someone else. Also, don't let employees trick you into thinking you have a part in their wedding just so they can get extra vacation days for their honeymoon.

  • 04 /10

    Michael's Mistake: When Ryan invites Michael to speak at one of his college classes, Michael tells the students college is useless and tears the pages out of a textbook to illustrate his point.

    The Lesson: Never underestimate the power of an education. In the final episode of Season 3, Ryan gets the last laugh by landing a job Michael thought would be his.

  • 05 /10

    Michael's Mistake: Michael thinks he found a great new suit on sale, but the other employees soon realize it was made for a woman.

    The Lesson: Looking professional is important in gaining the respect of employees and your superiors. Check the label carefully before buying anything from the bargain bin.

  • 06 /10

    Michael's Mistake: A client refuses to accept a voucher for free paper after Dunder-Mifflin issues a product recall, so Michael tells her to call the "Ungrateful Beeyotch Hotline" at a press conference.

    The Lesson: Name calling is no way to win over a client, especially in front of the press. It's not true that all publicity is good publicity.

  • 07 /10

    Michael's Mistake: After receiving some dating advice from the female employees, Michael decides to thank them with a trip to Victoria's Secret.

    The Lesson: Establishing boundaries with employees is crucial for maintaining a professional working environment. Stick with less risqué gifts, like coffee mugs and restaurant gift certificates.

  • 08 /10

    Michael's Mistake: Michael thinks he's getting a big promotion so he devises a series of tasks, including a fire walk and a hot dog eating contest, to choose his successor.

    The Lesson: Make sure performance evaluations are relevant and humane. An employee's worth should not be judged by how many pork products he or she can stomach.

  • 09 /10

    Michael's Mistake: As he heads to his interview for a job at Dunder-Mifflin's corporate headquarters, Michael reveals he has sold his home to the highest bidder.

    The Lesson: Aside from the fact that eBay probably doesn't make the best real estate agent, don't rearrange your whole life around a job you might not get. It will save you a great deal of hassle in the long run.

  • 10 /10

    Michael's Mistake: Although Michael claims it was an accident when he runs over Meredith with a company car, the other employees have their doubts.

    The Lesson: Taking out your aggression on your employees is a good way to get yourself fired and your company sued. Leave your personal problems at home.

Michael's Mistake: When Michael takes everyone on a booze cruise to motivate the team, he tries to make a point by pretending the ship is about to sink. Pandemonium ensues.

The Lesson: Whether the boat you're referring to is real or just a metaphor for your company, motivational speeches should not put everyone around you in panic mode. Focus on something more positive.

ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE?
Register now to make sure you have a voice in the election.
loading