Awesome TV Bosses: Miranda Bailey and Leslie Knope

Neither of these women are the big boss, per se, in their respective fictional contexts. But they rule their workplaces. Bailey, the resident that all the interns fear on Grey’s Anatomy is bossy, mean, smart, and brooks no nonsense. Leslie is the hardest working human being in Pawnee, and her boss, Ron Swanson, essentially lets her run the department of Parks and Recreation with little supervision.

These women are not titular heads of their respective workplaces, but these organizations could not run without them. I guess this can be described as “leading from the middle.” It seems a common theme. Certainly, these women are both good managers, and good leaders (or have excellent leadership potential).

But let’s also not forget that in the fictional hospital and the fictional government contexts, both of these ladies are total workaholics. Doctors, even fictional ones, are forced to be. Government functionaries who love their jobs don’t have to be, but Leslie chooses to be so. While I personally don’t endorse workaholism, I have certainly never loved my job(s) as much as these two women do. And besides, these are workplace-driven TV shows. They have to like being at work, so that they can be on their shows all the time and entertain me!

Bailey is the kind of boss that I would like because she is an excellent teacher. So even though she is mean and gruff, and barks a lot, her heart is in the right place. I am afraid that I would, at first, take her attitude personally, but actually, I think I would recover well in time, and that we would eventually have the kind of relationship where I might babysit for her periodically.

Leslie is the kind of colleague that I would love to have. I love working with (and being) enthusiastic co-workers, who don’t create barriers but rather who envision and implement solutions. I also love how she is constantly making presents. I would be worried that I wouldn’t be able to work in partnership with a personality that big, though, and that eventually I would leave Pawnee for Eagleton, in an act of supreme betrayal.

(Also, in any world, I would love to work with Donna from Parks and Recreation. Seriously, she is amazing. In real life, Retta is also amazing.)


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