So you wanna be a boss. Netflix and
chill will yourself to get off the couch already. How to Be a Boss (According to Your Favorite Shows) is your excuse to binge all the TV you want. It’s career inspiration, right?
Big dreams don’t always work out as planned. Over the course of her ascension from VP to president to whatever it is that happens afterward, Selina Meyer has had to work around fairweather allies, a team consistently on the verge of combustion, and an ex-husband who only ever seems to get worse. But where some of us would abandon all hope, President Meyer and those she’s forever entwined with refuse to take no for an answer. And as a result, we’ve gotten to watch seven seasons of ambitious, resilient, and crafty characters endure the worst Washington has to offer—all while somehow leveling up in the process.
Of course, we'd never advocate (literally) taking a page out of President Meyer's book, nor should we scream obscenities in the general direction of those offering us a tea. But if Veep’s taught us anything, it’s that adult working life and getting through the day can sometimes feel like those moments where you’re clutching your phone while playing down a mild heart attack to ensure your enemies don’t have any fodder with which to drag you down—whether you’re embedded in politics or just trying to pay your phone bill. Unless you’re Ben—then you’re likely reading this while holding an oversized insulated mug. (I am Ben.)
Here are 16 rules on how to be a boss according to Veep, the best show ever (about the worst parts of politics).1. Surround yourself with a team of hard-working geniuses. 2. Or, if you don’t have one of those, aligning with an overeager, well-meaning former head of communications will do. 3. Use powerful and enduring alliances to your advantage. 4. And distance yourself from the opposite. 5. Recognize those you can’t live without. 6. And be well-aware of your enemies. 7. Ensure your slogans are direct—and to-the-point. 8. And then point a lot to, um, emphasize your point. 9. Appear vulnerable only to those you can really trust. 10. Despite the demands of your professional life, prioritize your family. 11. Use fashion to convey a message—like that you should be president—or as a cry for help after shifting alliances to work with the worst people. 12. Ignore the criticisms of your enemies, especially when their strategies are nonsensical. 13. And stay cool, calm, and collected when dealing with the pressures of the media. 14. But don’t let your guard entirely down, lest you be sidelined by a life-shattering revelation. 15. Of course, keep friends close—and those rapidly ascending the ladder even closer. 16. And remember to celebrate small victories whenever you have them.
Words by Anne T. Donahue
Feature image by Justin M. Lubin