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What would Michael Scott do?

By: Roche Life Sciences

Posted: June 15, 2015 | Career & Lifestyle

The guiding principles of lab management: Sometimes you just have to ask - What Would Michael Scott Do (WWMSD)?

While the day-to-day shenanigans at the Dundler Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on "The Office" may seem like a far cry from the workings of a scientific laboratory, we're here to debunk that assertion. In fact, we're going to explain to you how Michael Scott did more than make us laugh every Thursday night. Over nine seasons he taught us the importance of respect, strong work ethic and establishing meaningful human connections - the qualities we value in our leaders and that exemplify a great lab manager.

Here are the top 10 Michael Scott quotes that prove he would make a fantastic lab manager:

  1. As a leader and manager, he understood the importance of establishing both trust and respect with his staff: "Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me."
  2. He had a clear vision for success, set high expectations for himself and others, and never gave up on  reaching his goals: "This is a dream that I have had since lunch, and I am not giving up on it now."
  3. He was a staunch advocate for equality in the workplace and did not believe in or condone discrimination: "You may look around and see two groups here: white collar, blue collar. But I don't see it    that way, and you know why not? Because I am collar-blind"
  4.  He knew that in order to succeed and get the job done well, he didn't have time to worry about what    others may think of him and couldn't always be everyone's friend: "Remember when people used to say    BOSS when they were describing something really cool. Like…. 'Those shoulder pads are really boss man.'    'Look at that perm, that perm is so boss!' It's what made me want to become a boss. And I looked so good    in a perm and shoulder pads. But now, boss is just slang for jerk in charge."
  5. He never let anyone take advantage of his kindness: "Fool me once, strike 1. Fool me twice, strike 3."
  6. He knew what interpersonal skills were required to get the job done well, and done efficiently: "Well, just    tell him to call me as ASAP as possible"
  7. He understood that good people make good business, and that to truly be successful in a business you    need to connect with people directly and can't always rely on technology to do that for you: "Everyone    always wants new things. Everybody likes new inventions, new technology. People will never be replaced by machines. In the end, life and business are about human connections. And computers are about trying to    murder you in a lake. And to me the choice is easy."
  8. He realized that sometimes you can't just be the manager of work, you have to be the manager of fun: "Sometimes you have to take a break from being the kind of boss that's always trying to teach people things. Sometimes you just have to be the boss of dancing."
  9. He was never afraid to speak his mind and follow his instincts: "Sometimes I'll start a sentence and I don't even know where it's going. I just hope I find it along the way."
  10. He wanted people to genuinely respect him for the person he was and how he treated others: "I don't    want somebody sucking up to me because they think I am going to help their career. I want them sucking up    to me because they genuinely love me."

So, next time you are in lab and find yourself in a difficult management situation, just remember to ask yourself these five key words: What would Michael Scott do?

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