Sorry, Mr. Trump. "The Apprentice" might try to teach business principles to TV fans, but real business leaders like Warren Buffett have a soft spot for a different kind of TV entrepreneur: Walter White of "Breaking Bad."
Declaring "Breaking Bad" to be his "number one show, by far," Buffett recently spoke with BuzzFeed about the series. "[Walter White] is a great businessman … He's my guy if I ever have to go toe-to-toe with anyone," he gushed.
But not every "Breaking Bad" fan thinks Walt would be a good business partner. A recent article on Businessweek highlighted the problems with Walt's management style, arguing that "if [White's] criminal enterprise were listed on Nasdaq, now might be a good time to sell."
"Breaking Bad" isn't the only TV show to be singled out by those with business acumen. From sitcoms to legal dramas, the following shows all teach important business lessons.
Businessweek has run a few TV-inspired articles lately, including the amusing piece "The 'Game of Thrones' Guide to Management." In the article, author Logan Hill argued that Tyrion's famous quote, "Never forget what you are … Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you," is a great life lesson for business leaders of all stripes. Being self-aware and self-possessed is an important trait for a good CEO.
This series about a family-run business offers plenty of actionable business advice, as a recent Forbes article pointed out. One of the most important lessons was, "If you're too busy to hunt and fish, you're too busy." This same business ethos is echoed in leading companies like Zappos and Google, where having fun is important to corporate culture and job satisfaction.
The frothy antics of the "Friends" gang don't seem like a rich source of good business parables, but some episodes actually had some wisdom. Forbes writer Maseena Ziegler argued that the episode where Chandler decides to switch careers has great advice for those looking to make a change in their working lives.
Chandler gets a job as a copywriter, beating out a bunch of younger applicants. His secret? His life experience gave him a unique perspective over his competition, and he wasn't afraid to show his "vulnerability" as a mature job candidate.
Tech industry consultant Jeet Banerjee wrote a blog post praising the business lessons inherent in USA's legal drama "Suits." Banerjee argued the big lesson in "Suits" that business leaders should take away is that education isn't a good barometer of talent or intelligence. Mike Ross of "Suits" lacks a college degree, but becomes a key player in a powerful law firm because of his innate talents.
"Mike Ross taught me that no matter how highly people value a college degree, it still won't make you skilled in a specific field or sector," Banerjee concluded.
- Warren Buffett