Career Advice From 10 Movie Bosses

There’s a little bit of good in everyone. Okay, we don’t really believe that nonsense, but these obnoxious movie bosses actually offer great career advice.

By Matt Christensen

GORDON GEKKO | WALL STREET (1987)
The story: A ruthless corporate raider takes an eager young broker under his wing. Then the young broker develops a conscious and things really go to hell.
Rangel says: “If you’re going to take sides, don’t be on the side that’s going to jail. Gekko stayed out of jail for a long time because he was smart enough to do things legally, albeit unethically. That’s a choice that presents itself in business a lot.“

BILL LUMBERGH | OFFICE SPACE (1999)
The story: He’s the boss who … um, yeah … thinks it would be great if you could, uh, come on in on a Saturday and fill out your TPS reports.
Rangel says: “Lumbergh is annoying to work for, but he’s at least manageable. If you can learn to deal with micro managers – streamlining assignments, collating e-mails, and adapting to make your daily grind easier – you’ll be much happier. You might even be able to increase efficiency and raise your stock in his eyes.”

RANDOLPH AND MORTIMER DUKE | TRADING PLACES (1982)
The story: Two affluent, old-money, Philadelphia investment banker racists — sorry, that’s redundant — make a bet that they can turn a small-time criminal into a successful investor prodigy, and vice versa.
Rangel says: “Give them credit for risk taking. Even though their motives and methods were less than pure, they took a gamble.”

Spacey Horrible Bosses

DAVE HARKEN | HORRIBLE BOSSES (2011)
The story: The title says it all. Harken screws over his own employee in order to reward himself for his employee’s hard work.
Rangel says: “At the beginning of the movie, Spacey basically promotes himself to Jason Bateman’s position, saying he’s the only one he can trust to get the job done. On one hand, there’s something to be said for wanting something done right, and doing it yourself. On the other hand, you have to learn to trust your team. As the boss, you are too busy to do things all the time, so it’s essential to surround yourself with people you can count on. And if you’re one of those trusted people, you better step up your game, because the blame will ultimately roll downhill.”

TAGS: bosses, movies, work