Popular US legal drama Suits may be just a fictional TV series, but it has a habit of reflecting the reality of business life.
Penned by Aaron Korsh, a former investment banker turned writer, the show made its debut on USA Network in June 2011 and ran for eight series until September 2019.
It was famous for starring actress Meghan Markle as the ambitious paralegal Rachel Zane, before she married Prince Harry to become the Duchess of Sussex.
How is Suits true to life?
The TV series Suits teaches us some serious business lessons, focusing on how to succeed in entrepreneurial life.
One of the main characters, corporate lawyer Harvey Specter, speaks of how most people settle for living just an average life. However, he aims higher.
This sentiment is reminiscent of the famous quote by the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, about people living a “limited life”. He once said, “You tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world.”
However, Specter’s philosophy is that entrepreneurs shouldn’t live a life where they limit themselves. They should live a higher-than-average life, and if they believe they can influence the industry, they should pursue their goals.
So, what are the 5 business lessons from the TV series Suits?
1. Workplace collaboration
One of the most important ongoing themes in Suits is how to be collaborative at work.
The series captures the real-life dynamic of staying with your core work group, no matter what changes take place during your career.
When associate attorney Mike Ross makes the transition to investment banking, he continues his collaboration with his former firm and long-time colleague Specter.
In the workplace, even if you’re navigating through different jobs, your original team can often remain intertwined in your corporate life.
When Specter announces that he and Ross are working together again, in an episode called Unfinished Business, Ross says, “Butch and Sundance are back!”
2. Navigating office politics
Bureaucracy and office politics can hamper progress in companies. Suits shows how much time can be wasted in the workplace due to drama in the office.
One example is the ongoing rivalry between Specter and Louis Litt, who supervises the practice’s first-year associates. Litt goes on an emotional journey after losing his focus due to jealousy and miscommunication.
Another ongoing issue is the power struggle over the position of managing partner.
Learning how to deal with office politics is crucial to the success of every business.
The general drama that takes place every day in the workplace is a waste of resources that plagues corporations today.
Workers can get lost in the system, losing focus on why they are there as they are swept up in game playing and bureaucracy.
3. Workplace structure
There’s far more to a good company than just the people at the top. Every business depends on long-term staff who are not members of upper management and talented entry-level employees.
In Suits, Specter and his high-up colleagues continually push work on to Ross and Markle’s character, the paralegal.
While Specter is usually the person who closes the deal with clients, there’s always a team behind him doing the day-to-day hard slog. This is the case across many professions today.
An example of this is the secretary in Suits, Donna Paulsen. She is more than a secretary – she is critical to getting the work done.
This storyline reflects a question in modern office dynamics: who is more important, the upper management or support staff – or are they all equally crucial to the smooth running of the company?
4. Understand your clients
Specter reminds us of the importance of understanding clients and sales prospects. We must do our research well to understand what they really want.
Although the money involved is a factor, it’s often not the only thing that will clinch the deal. Clients want good service and high quality in their dealings with a company.
Understand what they value and make sure you give them exactly what they want. Convince them you understand their needs and that you’re making every effort to find a solution.
Specter says, “Win a no-win situation by rewriting the rules,” – meaning that it’s important to be creative and there’s no “one size fits all” solution.
5. Importance of mentorship
Mentorship will always be important, as it derives from the traditional practice of apprenticeships. This has created some of the greatest craftspeople, painters, musicians, engineers and other outstanding individuals throughout history.
Mentorship remains one of the most essential and effective parts of honing your skills and speeding up the learning curve.
In Suits, Specter is Ross’s mentor. The latter becomes one of the city’s best lawyers. In the workplace, approaching your idols and asking for mentorship is much more effective than admiring them from afar.
Benefits of a professional environment
Working in a professional environment, such as our serviced offices in London, has many advantages.
While Suits was set in a law firm, no matter what the sector, your workspace should be far more than “just an office”. It’s an environment where people come together and thrive.
The main benefit is that you have everything you need to run your business, without the associated hassle.
If you’re considering serviced offices, London is an ideal choice. Being based in the vibrant city is a boost in itself. Add to that our industry-leading superfast internet speeds of 10 Gb primary pipes and 1 Gb back-up lines.
Then consider the useful facilities, short-term leases, cost-effectiveness, ease of moving in or out, hassle-free maintenance, access to new markets and networking opportunities and you’re starting to see the full picture.
Serviced offices can be the launchpad for your business. As well as having private office space, you can have unlimited access to working lounges, well stocked kitchens, gyms and much more.
An all-inclusive package that gives you the freedom to run your business works towards your short and long-term goals, without the associated hassles that can hamper progress.
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