Is the TV show Suits realistic? The answer is a loud no. Yet, here we’ll extract just a few essential lessons from the show about life and business which are actually grounded in point of fact and somewhat useful in on a regular basis life
While I enjoy poking fun at Suits for its over-the-top drama, I’ve began to contemplate what the show actually gets right in regards to the business world.
While all television is dramatized, certain shows like Industry, which is currently streaming on Max and revolves around an investment bank in London, feel more grounded in point of fact. The challenges presented in Industry seem plausible, and the dialogue, together with the social dynamics, appear to reflect an actual reality bankers confront, albeit dramatized.
But the problems portrayed in Suits are as far-fetched because the plotlines in a Pokémon cartoon. And as I said in my last article on the subject, I believe Game of Thrones has more insights on life and business than Suits does.
Still, let’s attempt to extract some actual lessons about business from Suits.
1. Good firms depend upon expert entry-level employees and long-term staff who aren’t in upper management.
You know the way people at all times say that nurses do more work and know greater than the doctors? That’s even truer in business, similar to we see in Suits. Harvey and the remainder of the higher-ups are at all times pushing off work onto Meghan Markle’s character, a paralegal, and Mike Ross. Harvey may be the guy who closes you as a client, but he sure as heck isn’t doing the actual day-to-day work — and that’s true across numerous professions.
Donna Paulsen is one other good example of this. Secretaries are sometimes rather more than secretaries. They are the critical engine that permits work to be done. The query who is actually in charge — Donna or Harvey? — reflects an actual archetype in office dynamics; is the support staff more essential than upper management?
2. Office politics and bureaucracy decelerate firms in extremely unflattering ways.
Think about how much time is wasted on Suits because of internal office drama. The rivalry between Louis and Harvey consumes a lot time. The same goes for the facility struggles over the managing partner position, or all the private drama that infuses the every day workplace. This blatant waste of resources that plagues the firm on Suits can also be prevalent in major corporations and governments.
Louis Litt’s emotional journey rings true to corporate life. The lack of focus he experiences from mishearing something, or the jealousy that blinds him, seems quite common in large firms. We wander away on this silly system and lose deal with what we’re actually there to do. Or we find yourself playing all of those games to appease the bureaucracy that our actual work falls by the wayside.
3. Mergers fail.
Mergers almost at all times fail, and Suits captures this reality with the doomed merger of Pearson Hardman and Darby International. The show repeatedly drives home the purpose that introducing a recent, significant variable—comparable to merging two firms—puts you on shaky ground.
4. Romance within the office is super dangerous.
Mike Ross and Rachel Zane appear to have a cute relationship on Suits, however the show offers loads of examples where office romances result in disaster. The Scottie and Harvey storyline feels particularly real. You think you possibly can incorporate love and romance! But yeah… You can’t. The tensions that arise between Jessica Pearson and Jeff Malone also seem realistic. And while Mike and Rachel work, their collaboration, especially in Season 4, causes a big amount of tension.
5. Workers travel in tribes.
It annoys me when Jessica Pearson and Harvey elevate loyalty as the final word business virtue. That’s a sentiment warlords and mobsters demand — and I suppose bad corporate bosses.
In the day-to-day business world, competence and a well-aligned incentive structure take precedence over loyalty. Good bosses don’t demand loyalty; they craft an environment that logically rewards skill and dedication. It’s a sort of loyalty, however it’s based on output, not allegiance and social pressure.
That said, the show does capture the true dynamic of sticking with a core work group throughout your profession. Take, for instance, when Mike transitions to investment banking but continues to collaborate with Harvey and his former firm. That rings true: as you navigate different jobs, your original crew often stays intertwined in your skilled life.
6. Credentials are overrated.
Another irritating aspect of Suits is the unrealistic rule the firm has, which is to rent lawyers only from Harvard. While it’s true that law firms may favor candidates from specific schools or the Ivy League, restricting hires solely to Harvard Law graduates will not be reflective of how actual law firms operate. It’s merely a narrative device to emphasise the elitism and credentialism common in high-powered law firms.
Yet a key message of Suits contradicts this by highlighting the absurdity of credentialism. Mike Ross, who never attended law school, seems to be the very best lawyer on the firm. While such a scenario is unlikely in point of fact, the underlying message—that individuals without credentials could be just as capable, if no more so, than those with prestigious degrees—is a worthwhile takeaway to the true world of business.
7. The student should always challenge the teacher.
In the start, Mike is captivated by Harvey’s expertise and confidence, normally deferring to his judgment without query. As the series progresses, Mike gains a more nuanced understanding of Harvey and starts to develop his own approaches and philosophies. The resulting tension between them fosters mutual growth. This dynamic accurately reflects the means of learning and development, not only in the company world but additionally in all master/apprentice relationships.