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Here's Why Michael Scott Is The Most Powerful Character On The Office

There are many reasons why The Office has continued to be one of the most popular sitcoms on TV and streaming. In addition to clever gags and a heartwarming romance between Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer), the show remains relatable to many people who may feel stuck in a similarly monotonous working environment, and may even recognize some of the show's hilarious archetypes from their own lives.

You have the guy who takes his work far too seriously in the form of Dwight (Rainn Wilson). Stanley (Leslie David Baker) embodies the worker who puts in the bare minimum, and will utilize any excuse to take a nap in the middle of the day. Ryan (B.J. Novak) is the guy you know who's a little too ambitious for his own good.

However, every office needs an alpha. It'd be easy to assume the title would go to someone like David Wallace (Andy Buckley) or Jo Bennett (Kathy Bates), the execs who actually wield most of the power when it comes to the day-to-day operations of Dunder Mifflin, but if you've paid attention over the years, you know there's one character who honestly has far more influence than anyone else — Michael Scott (Steve Carell). 

How to succeed in business without really trying: the Michael Scott story

Michael Scott tries way too hard to get everyone to like him, and while it's occasionally endearing, it also results in him rubbing people the wrong way. He gets on people's nerves and wastes a lot of company time on pointless endeavors like parties and fun runs, but the one thing no one can deny is that he gets results. 

In the Season 5 episode, "The Duel," David calls Michael to his office in New York to sing his praises. He says that while all of the other Dunder Mifflin branches are struggling, the Scranton branch is more profitable than ever before. David may not fully understand Michael's ways, but it's clear that there's a certain level of respect between them, as evidenced in how Michael has held onto his job as regional manager for over a decade. The guy even kept things going when the economy was in the tank.

Few people on the series may be willing to admit it, but Michael wields a great deal of influence at the company. This is abundantly clear when he goes off to start his own paper company, and Pam leaves to join him, giving up her secretary job to stretch her wings as a salesperson. She's willing to take a huge leap of faith, and it's all because Michael is leading the charge. No doubt, this was partly a result of Michael always being there for Pam, like when he was the only co-worker who showed up in support of her art show.

Michael's power doesn't necessarily derive from his job title. It comes from knowing (intentionally or not) what people need in order to be their most productive selves. He doesn't micromanage, and he doesn't keep himself separated from his employees. He's always right there in the thick of it, and as a result, he outlasts basically everyone at corporate, survives a consolidation and a merger, and gets to leave Dunder Mifflin on his own terms.