Chapter Twenty-ThreeUNDERSTANDING THE DYNAMICS OF YOUR TEAM

Like millions of other people, one of my favorite TV shows is The Office. It ran for nine dramatic seasons, and its cast members have captivated fans to the point where they seem like historical figures, rather than fictional characters. Who could predict that a show about subject matter so mundane as the average workday would be so intriguing and popular, for such a long period of time?

The genius of The Office is in its contrasts. The physical setting appeared drab and generic on the surface, but behind the beige, corporate walls, the show's writers created a story that was rich, deep, and dramatic, even Shakespearean at times. Dunder-Mifflin, the paper company which the series is based around, portrayed a painfully normal company in a declining industry that most people never think about. But the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch contained a diverse, vibrant mesh of personalities and intertwined relationships that we were able to watch unfold for eight consecutive years.

Looking at The Office through the lens of the Personality Map, it's clear why the writers never ran out of plotlines and twists to include. Michael, the self-proclaimed “World's Best Boss” and central figure, is an off-the-charts Motivator (I). He is scatterbrained, imaginative, oddly persuasive, and at times flippant about traditions and norms. Thus, his leadership style tends to be unpredictable and polarizing, and the environment tends to be far ...

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