One thing that unites most church leaders is an interest in the subject of leadership. Leadership is important, I’ll grant you, but honestly, do we need another leaders’ meeting? Since that day in Miletus when Paul met with the Ephesian elders, leaders have been meeting regularly with other leaders to teach them how to be better leaders. This practice has been a great boon for conference centers and booksellers.
With the unashamed intent of cashing in on this trend, I would like to offer here some pearls of wisdom from one of my favorite leaders, the affable Michael Scott of Dunder Mifflin, the company that offers “limitless paper in a paperless world.”
If you have not seen the US show The Office, I should warn you that Michael Scott is one of the worst managers you’ll ever come across. But you don’t need competence to be a leader these days. What you need is attitude, vision, commitment, passion, enthusiasm, charisma and a lot of other things. I know this because I got hold of a book revealing important leadership secrets.
Michael Scott has all these characteristics in spades. He has a positive attitude, he’s utterly committed to the success of his organization, he’s passionate, visionary, enthusiastic, and on top of all that, he genuinely cares for his staff. He treats his employees as family.
So by most modern measures, Michael Scott is a role model for leaders everywhere. We can all learn a lot from him. Here are my top 15 Michael Scott quotes:
1. You need to play to win. But… you also need to win… to play.
2. Abraham Lincoln once said that “If you’re a racist, I will attack you with the North,” and these are the principles I carry with me in the workplace.
3. 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… I swore to myself that if I ever got to walk around the room as manager people would laugh when they saw me coming, and would applaud as I walked away.
4. When I was Ryan’s age, I worked in a fast food restaurant to save up money for school. And then I lost it in a pyramid scheme. But I learned more about business right then and there than business school would ever teach me.
6. 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.
7. Inventory is boring. In the islands they don’t make you do stuff like take inventory. Why do think so many businesses moved to the Caymans?
8. Do I want to be feared or loved? That’s a good question. I want both. I people to be afraid of how much they love me!
9. Yes, I was the first one out. And yes, I’ve heard “women and children first.” But, we do not employ children. We are not a sweatshop, thankfully. And women are equal in the workplace by law. So if I let them out first, I have a lawsuit on my hands.
10. Presents are the best way to show someone how much you care. It is like this tangible thing that you can point to and say, “Hey man, I love you this many dollars-worth.”
11. Today is spring cleaning day here at Dunder Mifflin, and yes I know it’s January, I’m not an idiot, but if you do your spring cleaning in January guess what you don’t have to do in the spring… anything. They say a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind, well I say an empty desk means an…
12. There are 5 stages to grief which are…[reading from computer] Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. And right now, out there, they are all denying the fact that they’re sad and that’s hard and it’s making them all angry. And it is my job to get them all the way through to Acceptance and if not Acceptance then Depression… If I can get them depressed, then I’ll have done my job.
13. I was shocked when he told me he was transferring to Samford. It’s like with firemen, you don’t leave your brothers behind. Even if you find out that there is a better fire in Connecticut.
14. I don’t understand. We have a day honoring Martin Luther King, but he didn’t even work here.
15. You spend your whole life trying to get people to like you and then you run over one person with your car – not even one of the popular ones – and everybody gets on your case. Doesn’t make any sense.