Fictional Managers and Bosses that Should (or Should Not) Be Emulated

Fictional Managers and Bosses that Should (or Should Not) Be Emulated

While they may have been created for entertainment value, the truth is there are plenty of fictional managers and bosses that have had an impact on our lives in one way or another.  Perhaps their character was so aggravating that they made your blood boil (and thanking your lucky start for the boss you have).  Or perhaps they inspired you in some way and demonstrated the characteristics of an ideal manager.  Either way, we can learn some valuable lessons from the following fictional managers and bosses.

Michael Scott- The Office

Michael Scott didn’t always have everything together and was known for his hilarious mishaps and inability to handle professional situations.  However, he is arguably one of the most genuine and caring bosses of all time.  No one cared more about the well-being and future of the employees at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company quite like Michael Scott.  He was the first to defend his employees and he was always trying to come up with creative ways to recognize their efforts and bring them together.  He treated his employees with respect and always knew how to make work fun.  While there are certainly plenty of traits of Michael Scott that should not be emulated (his lack of productivity, his political correctness or lack thereof, and his lack of respect for HR) he is undoubtedly a great example of a leader who genuinely cared about his employees and wanted to see them succeed.

Professor Albus Dumbledore- Harry Potter

In the world of fictitious leaders, Albus Dumbledore was created pretty close to perfect.  Throughout the entire Harry Potter series, Dumbledore made sacrifices for the greater good of others.  He exemplified what it meant to be a trustworthy leader and he treated everyone with due respect (think about how he treated Hagrid).  Not only did Dumbledore build trusting relationships with his faculty, but he was the first to have their backs…even if it meant putting himself in jeopardy.  He was firm but fair and he trusted his faculty enough to do their jobs without micromanaging them.  He, too, made mistakes but he was a man of character and wasn’t afraid to admit when he was wrong.  This is the mark of a true leader…and the kind of boss we would all love to have!

Sheriff Andy Taylor- The Andy Griffith Show

Andy Taylor was a one-of-a-kind boss and a leader worth looking up to.  He taught us that sometimes it’s better to lead with our heart rather than by the book.  He understood the value of following the rules but he also taught us that there are times in life when it is better to extend grace to others.  He was loyal to his employees and exemplified old-fashioned values like honesty, friendship, hard work, and serving others.  There are times in every leader’s life when they might need to take a step back and think like Andy Taylor would…slow down, care for others, and lead with your heart.

Miranda Priestly- The Devil Wears Prada

Miranda Priestly has an icy stare that will send shivers down the backs of even the toughest employees.   While there might not be quite enough adjectives to describe this fashionista boss, cruel, ruthless, demanding, and manipulative all come to mind.  She is every bit of an authoritarian style boss whose demands are so unreasonable she is setting all of her subordinates up for failure.  Needless to say, her crass and rude demeanor is nothing worth emulating and everything worth avoiding!

Bill Lumbergh- Office Space

Bill Lumbergh is the epitome of everything we hate about a terrible boss.  He is the type of boss that loves to pile on the workload for all of his subordinates without ever actually doing any of the work himself.  So, just what are the specific qualities that make him such a terrible manager? For starters, he is a micromanager and forces his employees to focus on trivial tasks that are pointless and time consuming.  He is totally disengaged with his employees and isn’t afraid to show it.  He’s passive-aggressive and about as insincere as they come.  He is a terrible communicator but wants to blame the employees if they don’t get it right.  In short, he is every employee’s worst nightmare of a boss.