8 TV Bosses We'd Love to Work For
Work + Life Balance

8 TV Bosses We'd Love to Work For

by Sarah Pike
November 16, 2015

DO GREAT BOSSES MERELY EXIST IN FAIRYTALES? WE HAVE EIGHT BOSSES THAT ARE STELLAR ON SCREEN AND MAKE US FANTASIZE ABOUT A BETTER WORKPLACE.

Bosses are often the subject of nightmares, or tempting figures to add to our voodoo doll collection, but then there are those amazing bosses who show us the kinder, gentler side of being at the top of the organizational chart. {Click to Tweet} They may be fictional, but here are eight TV leaders we’d love to call “Boss.”

1. COOKIE LYON ON “EMPIRE”

Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) is a force to be reckoned with, the embodiment of “like a boss.” Cookie knows what she wants and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Even though she rules with an iron fist, she does have a softer side — it’s just tucked away underneath layers of haute couture and furs. Working for this music maven would come with risks, but the potential benefits are far too tempting. 


2. LORELAI GILMORE ON “GILMORE GIRLS”

Lorelai (Lauren Graham) found a way to be the most awesome single mom ever and run her own business. She was the kind of boss who wasn’t above rolling up her sleeves and pitching in — no matter what needed to be done. Lorelai was just as likely to throw her employee a baby shower as give them some gentle professional guidance. She was a true class act, and her unending stream of pop culture witticisms would definitely make the workday fly by.


3. LIZ LEMON ON “30 ROCK”

How could you not admire a boss who was this adept at herding cats? That’s exactly the skill that Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) mastered to keep her unruly troupe of neurotic writers and narcissistic stars in line. Liz was creative, patient, and just as human as everyone around her. She was willing to show her staff her vulnerabilities and they loved her for it.

 

4. OLIVIA POPE ON “SCANDAL”

Nobody gets in Olivia Pope’s (Kerry Washington) way, and that’s the way we like it. This powerful woman knows how to get the job done, and she does it with impeccable style. Working for Pope would be a challenge, but no one is a better teacher when it comes to asking the tough questions, pushing the limits, and making your mark.

If your supervisor is less fashionable than Olivia Pope or short on some of Leslie Knope’s optimism, just remember that it’s hard out there for a boss and throw a little bit of the Olivia Benson compassion their way. 

5. MINDY LAHIRI ON “THE MINDY PROJECT”

The absolute best thing about working for Mindy (Mindy Kaling)? Just getting to hang out with her every day. Mindy is a smart, proud, confident, authentic person, and the grace she employs to roll with life’s punches is inspiring. Working beneath this uber-modern, super-feminine powerhouse would be so much more worthwhile than going back to school for an MBA. Mindy has razor-sharp insight and knows how to have a successful career without sacrificing the rest of her life. 

 

6. OLIVIA BENSON ON “LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT”

For someone who never really wanted to be the boss, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) fulfills the role beautifully. Her devotion to justice and doing the right thing never wavers — even under intense political pressures to please the powers at One Police Plaza. Benson knows when to be tough and when to show compassion. She takes her team under her wing and protects and nurtures them like a fierce mama bear.

 

7. LESLIE KNOPE ON “PARKS AND RECREATION”


Hope springs eternal for the unsinkable Leslie Knope (Amy Poehl-er). She fought for progress and never gave up. Leslie was a bastion of optimism and confidence even in the face of defeat. Her employees were her best pals, but she still knew how to challenge them and hold them accountable. Leslie’s undying positivity was a shining beacon for all around her, and taught her employees the value of hard work and how to go out on a limb for something that matters.

 

8. MIRANDA BAILEY ON “GREY’S ANATOMY”

This tough, brash surgeon knows how to stay cool under pressure. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) doesn’t baby her employees, and her tough-love approach helps make them better than they knew they could be. She may seem harsh at times, but underneath her callous exterior is a heart of gold. Miranda knows what’s best and delivers guidance with a firm but flexible hand.

If your supervisor is less fashionable than Olivia Pope or short on some of Leslie Knope’s optimism, just remember that it’s hard out there for a boss and throw a little bit of the Olivia Benson compassion their way. Your sterling example may be inspiration they need to become their best self in the board room, behind the big desk, or while grabbing a cup of joe in the break room. And it can’t hurt during your next performance review either.

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Do you have a boss you dream of working for? Do they exist on screen or in real life? Comment below and let us know!

Photo: Law & Order SVU (NBC)