A Leadership Lesson From Michael Scott

Do you know Michael Scott? Of course you do. Michael is…or was…the (fictional) Regional Manager at Dunder Mifflin Inc. – a mid-sized paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. And…he’s the world’s best boss. Just check out the mug. 

I’m sure you’ve learned a lot through the years from Michael Scott’s incredible leadership on The Office (sarcasm intended). He seems to always cause mass chaos, create uncomfortable situations, and evoke angry responses from his coworkers and employees.

One day, because of his own stupidity, Michael finds himself in another awkward and avoidable situation. His boss sits across the table and simply asks him, “What do you want, Michael?” After causing the problem and creating the confusion, Michael Scott’s response is almost unbelievable. Do you know what he said?

“I want all of the credit and none of the blame.”

That’s right. After introducing chaos into the workplace and causing an avoidable catastrophe, the leader speaks up and says,

“I want all of the credit and none of the blame.” 

Michael Scott is not a leader. In fact, Michael Scott isn’t real. He’s a fictional character on a TV show. But this situation is very real. Too many leaders say the same thing far too often. Well, they may not say it with their lips. But that’s how they act in the workplace. Or that’s how many pastors treat their pastoral team or lay leaders.

Real leadership is not about accepting praise and deflecting blame. In fact, the opposite is true. Real leadership is about accepting blame and deflecting praise. So, learn a leadership lesson from Michael Scott. Make the right decision when things get tough and times are hard. Those around you will be grateful for it – and you’ll be better for it.

Disclaimer – If you have no clue about who Michael Scott is, don’t read this blog post. If you already have read this blog post, I’m sorry for wasting your time.