Management Mistake #1: Making HR The Enemy
Throughout the series, Michael made it clear he had no respect for "stupid Toby" and pitted himself and the rest of the staff versus the human relations department. In reality, teaming with HR makes good managerial sense, since they can help you communicate better with employees -- and also document any issues, which can benefit management in the event of a firing or a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Management Mistake #2: Trying To Be The Most Popular Man In The Office Michael bribed his employees with liquor, ice cream, and movies in the conference room. But if you're after affection, better to find some love at the local animal shelter rather than seeking it at work. Part of being a manager is making tough decisions that people don't want to hear -- and it's impossible to do that and be perpetually popular at the same time.
Management Mistake #3: Taking Friendly To A Whole New Level When a fellow employee insulted Phyllis, Michael tries to show her that she's beautiful -- and crosses the line not only physically but also verbally. This makes for one hilarious moment for television -- and some lawyers a whole lot of money if it were to happen in real life.
Management Mistake #4: Indiscreetly Dating a Colleague The office can be a great place to meet a potential partner -- you already have one common interest -- but please, do it discreetly. When Michael started dating Jan, he acted like Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah's coach when he was psychotically psyched to be sharing his love for Katie Holmes. Eventually, respect for Jan at the executive level declined and she was forced out of her powerful position. Sadly, what happened to Jan was one of the more realistic plot lines in the entire show.
Management Mistake #5: Being Culturally Insensitive While Michael's bumbling over PC protocol with Stanley was a laugh for viewers, this type of banter in real life would be hurtful and likely litigious. Ditto for Michael's never-ending ribbing of Oscar for being gay.
Management Mistake #6: Avoiding Confrontation And Playing Games When Dwight attempts a power play for Michael's job by secretly meeting with Jan, Michael catches him in a lie about a dental appointment. But instead of confronting him immediately, he toys with Dwight before eventually exposing his fib. Most managers would argue that they don't have time for games -- and they're right.
While all of these clips seem outrageous, real-life bosses make similar management mistakes every day. After Thursday, we'll have to see if Will Ferrell gives us some new laughs -- and lessons.