What is a business? Wisdom from Michael Scott


In the words of the great Michael Scott, “What is a business? Is it a collection of numbers and sales reports? Sure. But as you know, David and Jan, it is much more.”

Somehow I managed to harvest wisdom out of one of my favorite shows and characters.

We all know not to take Michael Scott seriously, but this time, he might have a point.

We have come a long way from our Standard Oil Industrial Age days of business.

While Baby Boomers complain about millennials, the truth is, business has changed. It has changed for the better. We now have a generation of people that care how business affects the people around them.

Despite the rants on social media, the millennial generation does work hard, we just do it in a different way. We work smarter. No longer do we need 12-15 hr days to get the job done. While it is still normal in some companies to work long hours, it is not necessary.

Companies brag about their work/life balance, but do they really take it seriously? True work/life balance is promoting peace in the workplace, so that hopefully the personal life is less crazy.

You see if the boss treats his or her subordinates like crud, their actions will negatively affect life at home. Their crappy leadership creates stress and that stress projects on families.

I’ve been in that situation. Work sucked, because leadership stunk.

A business is not just a profit machine. A business needs PEOPLE. A business is about relationships, first and foremost. Sometimes the people in charge forget this. They forget that they are not monitoring robots. They have been charged with leading people who have beating hearts, and families waiting for them at home. Those families need their Dad or Mom to be emotionally and physically present.

The more and more I study entrepreneurship, the more people become my motivation.

As a leader, people should be your first priority. You make a profit to help people. Without people, we do not have business.

Two off the cuff ways to prioritize people In your business:

  1. Go above and beyond for your team. Strive for above industry standards in pay, benefits, and work environment. Treat your team like they are leaders themselves. Trust your team. Use profit to invest back into your people. Grow slowly and wisely so people stay your priority. Be creative.

  2. Make an impact in your community. Use profit to help make your community a better place to live. Be a light for hurting people. Wether its the homeless or veteran community, be a helping hand.