What particular set of skills did Michael Scott possess to successfully rise at Dunder Mifflin?

This is an answer to a question submitted to the "Ask me anything (AMA)" program. This AMA channel is designed to support you get clarity to business/tech questions you may have. Periodically, I select a particular response that we feel can benefit the broader community.

While Michael is a fictional character in The Office, this question made me smile. Here are my thoughts about it:

  • He is eager to please and adapt to the situation, making him easy to control and drive the company narrative.
  • People he reported to resigned, leaving him as the most senior/experienced individual in the company.
  • Was suitable for the job when they were a much smaller company; then experienced a sprout of growth that needed people to lead.
  • He had the drive to lead (but not necessarily the breadth of capabilities needed).
  • The office location represents an area of lesser importance where presence is more important than overall performance, meaning leadership is selected based on cost rather than ability.
  • Low expectations on the business unit → Just do what is needed to keep the lights on.
  • He was inventive and showed the potential to be invested in. Sometimes investments do not realise :) or realise differently :)
  • He volunteered and tried repeatedly.
  • He was visible. People feel comfortable working with people they know.

Let us know what you think!. We believe in productive discourse and welcome opportunities to refine our understanding through discussion. Comment in the comments area below or reach out on hi@andremuscat.com


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