7 reasons why Michael Scott is the ‘World’s Best Boss’

25 March 2015 by in Authentic leadership, Business and finance, Entertainment

Michael ScottWe love The Office (US edition) in our very own office and, as publishers of business books, it’s got us thinking about reasons that Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell) is an excellent leader. Hold on, we know what you’re thinking, was he really any good at his job? He bought himself the mug that read, ‘World’s Best Boss’ and were those silly and painfully awkward seminars actually useful? Well, we’ve rewatched the series (don’t let anyone tell you that publishing’s an easy business!) and come up with seven reasons why Michael Scott is an excellent boss. Why seven? we hear you ask. Well, Bas Blekkingh’s new book, Authentic leadership is based on a seven-layer model to help readers be the best leaders they can be. Perhaps you’ll be inspired by Scott after all …

  1. Michael says early on in the series that,‘it’s about keeping the troops happy’, encouraging your workforce to get along, making the workplace an enjoyable place to be. It’s surprising that there is any work done in the office at all as Michael is keen to encourage as much team building as possible. The beach trip, in season 3 after the two branches have merged, is an excellent opportunity to encourage friendly competition between the employees. This comes into use in season 5 when the Scranton branch goes head-to-head with the rest of the Dunder Mifflin company in a volleyball tournament. Michael’s insistence that the office has parties on a regular basis allows the formation of the party-planning committee and ensures that morale is kept on a high and that the employees have something to look forward to after a long week of sales.
  2. Michael considers himself as not just a boss but a friend to all those who work in the office. After Jim leaves Scranton to move to a different branch, he meets Michael and Dwight at a paper convention. Though nobody shows up to Michael’s party in his hotel room, Michael states that after Jim left his Scranton employment, he had ‘gained a friend’. Michael also invented the Dundies, an annual awards ceremony, celebrating the achievements of the office throughout the year. Though everybody dreads going to them, Michael makes a huge effort to make sure that everyone gets an award and that the show is a success.
  3. He’s there for his employees. In season 3, Pam gets the chance to show off her art in a local gallery. No one from the office shows up apart from her boyfriend, Roy, and he is incredibly scathing about her efforts. At the eleventh hour, however, Michael makes an appearance and is genuinely impressed by her work. He offers to buy the painting she did of their office building, which hangs on the wall next to her desk until the final episode. By making an effort to support his employees, Michael becomes a great boss and made Pam feel amazing.
  4. Michael is determined to make the office a place of enlightenment so that his employees get more from their work days than just a paycheque. Though his seminars are unconventional to say the least, Michael does at least attempt to bring a wider understanding to those in the office. Some of the most memorable seminars in the conference room are the ones on equality, where Michael kisses a reluctant Oscar, race and disability. We are not in any doubt that the seminars could have benefited from better planning, but they were an attempt to bring the office together.
  5. Michael Scott might not be the greatest leader in television history but he clearly did something right to get the job as regional manager. Michael was obviously an excellent sales person and had a good feel for business. This is demonstrated when he leaves Dunder Mifflin and starts his own company, Michael Scott’s Paper Company. Though ultimately unsuccessful (perhaps due to having employed Ryan) it showed Michael’s determination to succeed in a tough business environment. Ultimately, his new company was sold to Dunder Mifflin and he got his old job back. Not bad for a renegade employee.
  6. A day in Michael’s office is never boring. Whether it be a funeral for a bird that Toby allegedly killed or Michael threatening to jump off a building to educate the workers about the dangers of depression, Michael ensured that his employees never got bored doing what they did. Remember when he took them down to the warehouse for a foam fight? Yes, most of these things were unproductive, but definitely got the employees talking and communicating together.
  7. Determined not to lay anybody off. Despite his apparent incompetence, Michael’s company actually manages to make a profit during the first few series when the merger between branches is discussed. Not only that, but Michael really cares about his employees and makes sure that he doesn’t have to fire anyone, even Creed who seems to do no work whatsoever.

We think Michael Scott is an authentic leader and we hope this blog has inspired you to be one too.

Authentic Leadership

From car park to cathedral, Richard III is finally at peace

23 March 2015 by in Authentic leadership, Business and finance, Current events

What were the odds that the first trench dug in a car park in Leicester would reveal the final resting place of a notorious king of England. Only a few years ago, it was revealed that King Richard III had been hastily buried in a church (now a car park) after he lost his life at the battle of Bosworth Fields.

Richard III is a notorious historical figure, most famously portrayed as the eponymous character of the Shakespeare play. History has written him off as an evil king, one who usurped his brother for the crown, a hunchback who was bitter and cruel. One thing was proven when his body was found and that was that he did in fact have a hunchback due to scoliosis. However, should we be quick to write him off as the bad king?

Richard III

Richard III ascended the crown after his brother, Edward IV died suddenly and was said to be responsible for the death of the two princes in the tower. Nevertheless, we cannot know what really happened back then. There are many who believe that it was Henry Tudor’s mother who ordered the boys killed so that her son’s claim to the throne was legitimate. If you’ve seen the BBC’s recent adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s The White Queen, then you may be of this opinion as well.

During Richard III’s reign, the War of the Roses was still prevalent and, as a son of the House of York, the Lancasters were a threat to his rule. It is unlikely that Richard III experienced much peacetime during his reign and, as a disabled man, leading from the front on a battlefield would have been incredibly difficult.

Today, after many years of contention between the city of York and Leicester, the king will finally be laid to rest in Leicester cathedral, a proper burial for a proper king. Richard’s leadership skills will be contested, no doubt, for many years to come, today however, is a celebration of a king who was unfortunate enough to rule in one of the most bloody wars in British history.

Bas Blekking’s Authentic leadership helps you gain the tools to become an excellent leader, whether that be as a monarch or a CEO.

Authentic Leadership

Nigel Farage’s leadership in doubt

16 March 2015 by in Authentic leadership, Business and finance

The general election is only a few weeks away and, quite frankly, we’re already bored with the cat fights over debates and empty promises that are being thrown at us. However, some good news has surfaced today from none other than Nigel Farage (yes, believe it!). Farage has announced that if he does not win a seat in his constituency, South Thanet, he will step down as the UKIP Party leader.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the opportunity you have been waiting for. Vote this man out of our newspapers, off our televisions, and into the ‘Bad People of History’ books forever. No more will we have to suffer his incessant misogyny, racism, bigotry (we could go on) while he sups on a pint of John Smith and drops fag ash all over the floor again. We will banish him.

How can we do this? We hear you ask. Quite simply, the best way would be to move to South Thanet, register to vote there, and not vote for Farage. Why vote for a pub frequenter when you can vote for a pub landlord instead?

Pub landlordThere are many reasons that we believe Al Murray should win a seat in Parliament over Nigel Farage. Firstly, he actually went to Oxford University, unlike UKIP member Natasha Bolton, who claimed she studied PPE at Wadham College before the university refuted this. What’s more, he studied there alongside our very own company accountant so he definitely has our vote!

Al Murray’s Pub Landlord is much more in touch with the people of Britain than Nigel Farage. For one thing, rather than sitting in one pub continuously, he takes his message on the road, performing gigs to crowds of adoring fans. Yes, his message might be a little ‘too much’ for some people but it is popular none-the-less.

Finally, we all know that the Pub Landlord is just a character. We think Al Murray is a top bloke really and will make a much fairer and more honest MP than anybody in the UKIP party. We’re hoping that many people of South Thanet who like what UKIP is preaching, will vote for Murray out of stupidity and that the rest will vote out of a desperate act to prevent Farage from gaining any more power. Why should we give these bigots a soap box to stand on?

We have lots of books on management and leadership. Bas Blekkingh’s Authentic leadership will be published in April. We think Farage should give it a read!

Authentic Leadership

Presenting your authentic self to the world

4 March 2015 by in Authentic leadership, Business and finance

Little did Indhuja Pillai realise a few months ago that her dating profile would go viral. Here’s some background context for those who are unfamiliar with this story. Having grown up in India, Pillai’s parents wanted to arrange a marriage for her and set up a profile for their daughter on a specialist site. However, Indhuja was not impressed with their representation of her, for example, they did not mention that she was a tomboy, an atheist, and her lack of desire to have children. This led to her creating her own profile, declaring that she was looking for a man, ‘preferably bearded’ and extra points if he hates children.

online datingShockingly, this post got thousands of responses from potential suitors as well as messages from those who are thrilled that Pillai is standing up for herself and presenting her authentic character to the world. In Bas Blekkingh’s book, Authentic leadership, readers are encouraged not to hide behind lies and personalities but to be true to themselves in order to succeed in business and areas beyond.

If you’re familiar with online dating, you’ll know how hard it is to navigate the tricky terrain of how much to reveal about yourself, which photos to choose, what to say to your potential matches. How refreshing, then, to see someone be truly honest about what they want. We all know someone who has been on an online date and the person turns out not to be anything like who they were online. Such are the dangers of being inauthentic.

It is clear that Pillai does not need to heed Blekkingh’s advice as she is already blazing her own trail. Though her actions were clearly not conventional and a little risky, the risk paid off. We can all learn a little about the value of being true to ourselves from this. By being authentic and genuine, people are more likely to trust you and open up to you, helping you to succeed in whatever you want. We all know that one person who is a compulsive liar or name-dropper but are they the ones we want to invite to our birthday parties? Not likely. Find the best version of yourself and show that to the world. If you don’t love yourself, nobody else will.

An authentic mission will ensure that you succeed and achieve your goals, according to Blekkingh, and we think so too.

Authentic Leadership