Though it never achieved the mainstream success of Family Guy or The Simpsons, Matt Groening’s Futurama is widely hailed as one of the smartest animated sitcoms ever produced. Set one-thousand years in the future, the show focuses on the misadventures of time-displaced delivery boy Phillip J. Fry, no-nonsense starship captain TurangaLeela and hard-drinking robot Bender B. Rodriguez, who work as an intergalactic delivery crew for Planet Express. The show also featured a fun assortment of eclectic supporting characters, most notably Hermes Conrad, the company’s acting bureaucrat. Although Hermes’ meticulousness and “all business” demeanor were generally played for laughs, there are three important lessons managers and team leaders can glean from Mr. Conrad.
1. Avoid Oversight
At times, Hermes’ attention to detailed bordered on obsessive-compulsive. Nearly every action he took involved filing forms and filling out paperwork. While this behavior was clearly meant to elicit chuckles, team leaders can learn an important lesson from such attention to detail. Because he consistently crossed every “t” and dotted every “i,” Hermes rarely found himself at a disadvantage and was prepared for every conceivable eventuality. go here to learn more about how avoiding oversight can serve you well as a manager or team leader.
2. Take Pride in Your Work
If you don’t enjoy what you do, working can be a relentlessly cumbersome experience. Fortunately for Hermes, he took pride in everything he did, be it keeping costs under control or making his crew more efficient. Although he arguably worked harder than any other Planet Express employee, he also derived more enjoyment from his work than anyone else on staff.
3. Understand When to Act Like a Friend versus When to Act Like a Boss
Despite being friends with his coworkers, Hermes wasn’t afraid to come down on them when the situation warranted it. Although Fry, Leela, Bender and the other employees sometimes resented him for this, they also respected his authority and looked to him for guidance in difficult situations. Because of the clear lines Hermes put in place, the others regarded him as both an authority figure and a workplace colleague.
In a show that regularly dealt with space exploration, time travel and otherworldly science, Hermes Conrad was arguably the most down-to-earth character. Additionally, his approach to management is every bit as practical in the 21st century as it is in the 31st century. Avoiding oversight, taking tremendous pride in your work and drawing a clear distinction between being a boss and a friend is sure to serve any team leader well.