Management Lessons From TV: What We Can Learn From ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ Meredith Grey

Management Lessons is a weekly column that will highlight strategy tips from your favorite career women on television.

Cue song by Keane and whiny monologue by Meredith Grey. “Change; we don’t like it, we fear it, but we can’t stop it from coming. We either adapt to change, or we get left behind. And it hurts to grow. But here is the truth: The more things change, the more they stay the same. And sometimes, oh, sometimes change is good. Sometimes change, is, everything.” Okay, so that absolutely makes no sense at all. This is literally a riddle from Alice in Wonderland. When things change, things actually do change. What does she mean? Plus, first she is all like we don’t like change because it can be bad but actually it is really good. It’s like having a conversation with Switzerland. Commit to an opinion and stick to it. So though the monologues doled out by Dr.Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) on Grey’s don’t always point us in the right direction, there are a few lessons we can actually learn from this surgeon.

1) Sleeping with every single person you work with doesn’t always end up being great: It took about three episodes into the first season before we realized that this show was mainly about sleeping with your colleagues. The medicine and stuff was a distant second. Now Meredith and Derek are relatively happy but it took like six years for that to work out and she literally slept with everyone else to figure that out. It seems as if they kept bringing in characters (hello McSteamy and Little Grey) for the sole purpose of hooking up with someone in the on-call room. So for every Derek and Meredith there will be 50 bad relationships that could hurt your career. I mean it doesn’t make sense as to how most of them have kept their jobs anyway.

2) Communication is important: I will say Meredith is pretty good about telling people she works with about what she thinks should be done in regards to a patient. She may whine about it in her head for a while but eventually it comes out. I can’t say the same for her relationship skills but one out of two ain’t bad.

3) Loyalty: You have to admit that Meredith and her little friends are the most loyal doctors to Seattle Mercy Grace maybe ever. They have gone through different management, had to deal with new doctors and been shot at and yet no one even contemplates going to a different hospital. That place is literally sitting on a hell mouth but maybe they figure if they put in their time at one place they will eventually move up the ladder.

4) Maybe don’t work under your mother’s ex-lover: Okay, so Meredith didn’t know this going in but that is really awkward for all parties involved. That is not only mixing personal with professional but with your mom’s sex life as well, which is just wrong.

5) Sometimes you just need to rest when you get home: Even if you have Patrick Dempsey in your bed. Being a surgeon, along with many other careers, is exhausting, especially when you throw in flirting, sex in the broom closet, mini-dramas, too much self-involvement and at least one music montage.

6) There are three things that can fix any work problem: Okay, this is actually from Mere’s BFF Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) but they think alike (sometimes). Yang once said “I need a drink, a man, or a massage. Or a drunken massage by a man.” This is the cure for any bad work day.


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