Leadership lessons from Frank Underwood and famous TV bosses
Love him or hate him, House of Cards’ Frank Underwood is a captivating television personality whose powers of persuasion lead him all the way to our country’s highest ranking position, Commander in Chief. Although Underwood is corrupt, manipulative, and in many ways evil, he understands his weaknesses as well as his strengths and uses both to climb the political ladder.
Despite his many villainous traits, Underwood is determined to reach his goals and is never intimidated no matter what obstacles he faces. Like Underwood, the following three famous television bosses, although incredibly flawed, possess leadership qualities we can learn from.
As the dangerous head of a New Jersey crime family, Soprano is controlling and strong, but also conflicted. He cares deeply for his family and friends but is also motivated by power and money. Many of his actions throughout the series are despicable, but there is something to be said for his ability to command respect from everyone around him. Soprano knows when to assert his authority and he is consistently strategic regarding business and personal life decisions.
Despite his murky past, Mad Men’s Draper is a force to be reckoned with in the advertising world. He understands his place within the business and knows what to bring to the table to achieve company success. He values in-person exchanges and knows the importance of connecting deeply with clients. Despite his business achievements, he often lets his personal life and bad habits interfere with his work. He learns over time the importance of self-improvement and the need for work-life balance.
Although he is often clueless, The Office’s Michael Scott regards himself as the “world’s best boss,” even though his subordinates may not always agree. He cares about running a fun work environment, but also tries too hard to be friends with those he leads. Although he makes them feel important, Scott has a difficult time establishing himself as their superior. Because of his inability to assert himself, his direct reports often have trouble respecting him and taking him seriously. It’s important that all leaders find the right balance between running an enjoyable office environment and providing the necessary structure for company success.