To Do And Not To Do – Lessons From Dunder Mifflin

Ah, The Office. Easily one of my favorite shows. Just ask Denise – actually, don’t. Several of us at IRONCLAD quote the show like it’s second nature — not even realizing we’re doing it. Add to that, the frequent reference to certain episodes and all the inside jokes tied to it and we tend to drive Denise nuts. But in my years of faithfully watching The Office, I’ve found some real business lessons to be learned from the characters. So I’d like to share – and then I promise Denise, no more Office around the office for at least a week.

Dwight – Proof That Passion Pays Off
As ridiculous his antics or bizarre his methods, Dwight continues to be the top salesman in the office. And why? He loves his job. Not just that, he’s hopelessly devoted to it. Day and night, rain or shine, holidays and weekends, Dwight is there to provide top-notch, personal service for clients — something Dunder Mifflin touts as its hallmark. Now I’m not advocating for endless hours at the office and coming in on Saturdays, but the drive, passion and enthusiasm Dwight shows is something that can’t be ignored.Lessons From The Office

Jim – Building Relationships Is Key To Success
While not nearly as nuts about his job as Dwight – actually, he openly admits in season 1 that it’s “just a job” – Jim manages to pull in great sales numbers and keep clients for years. Why? He’s likeable. Simple as that. He makes the effort to establish that personal connection that really makes a customer feel special. Sure, he provides good service, but with Jim, it all boils down to his knack for people and connections.

Ryan – If You’re Full Of B.S. It’s Going To Catch Up With You
Ah young, arrogant and flashy Ryan Howard. One time the office “temp”, Ryan’s business school degree, perceived knowledge of technology and smooth talking earned him the coveted spot as an executive at Dunder Mifflin corporate. The problem? He had nothing to back up his talk. And it eventually caught up with him, got him fired and even arrested for fraud. But bottom line: If you talk the talk, you better be able to walk the walk. Or you won’t last in the real world.

For those of you who are fans of the show or know a bit about it, you’ll notice I didn’t mention Michael. That’s because he’s an anomaly. In reality, Michael would have never made it where he did as manager. If somehow he did manage to climb the ladder to that position, he would have been fired in the first season, because he does everything a boss should never do. He blatantly offends people, is a poor communicator and quite simply, doesn’t accomplish anything during the workday. So when you watch The Office and look to learn about the world of business, do yourself a favor and do the exact opposite of what Michael does. Now there, who said you can’t learn anything from TV?

What are your thoughts on the fictional crew from Dunder Mifflin? Is there a takeaway from the show that you can relate to?