Ozark is Netflix Original American crime drama and thriller. It stars Jason Bateman as Marty Bryde, a financial advisor and all around mild-mannered dad with a seriously dark secret: he uses his financial consulting business to launder money for the Mexican drug cartel. Then things go sideways for Marty after he learns that his partner’s been stealing money from the cartel. Marty is given a reprieve from execution after convincing the aggrieved drug lord that he can launders $8 million of drug money in the Ozarks. Here’s are three professional lessons from Ozark.
You don’t need to like someone to work with them
Through much of the first season of Ozark, Marty and his wife Wendy – played by Laura Linney – are estranged. Marty is deeply hurt by Wendy’s infidelity. Wendy is scared, scarred and upset by the dangerous and precarious circumstances Marty has led the family into. They are both very upset with each other. Yet they both have a job to do in order to survive. They need to manage their kids, set down roots in the community, scout laundering opportunities and scheme around the prying eyes of the FBI, local law enforcement, cartel agents, local hoodlums, and your friendly neighbourhood gangsters. It’s a good reminder that productivity and effectiveness are helped by mutual admiration – but it isn’t a staple ingredient.
Find and empower talent
Marty is a talented fellow – we learn he has one of the best eyes when it comes to financial consulting in the mid-west. He also possesses a broad understanding of business processes and efficiency, the hallmark of a top-rate management consultant. One of Marty’s many business talents is recognizing talent in others. Early in the season, Marty is quickly marked by Ruth Langmore – played by Julia Garner – a teen with murderous intentions, clear intelligence and an ability to think strategically. Ruth recognizes in Marty a mentor who can teach her the art of money laundering. Marty recognizes management potential in Ruth’s ability to act independently and decisively by promoting her from dishwasher to running his strip club. Embracing talent and finding mentors is a key thing for anyone to remember. Consider whether there’s someone in your workplace who you think you can learn from or who is under-utilized for some reason or another. How can you empower them?
Find the win-win
The Snells have every reason to kill Marty and possibly the rest of his family. The cartel does as well. Marty’s challenge is to come up with a plan that focuses on the win-win-win for him, the Snells and the cartel. The plan is constructed around self-interest and greed allowing everyone to make a significant amount of money and avoid the authorities in a clever way. Finding a win-win scenario helps everyone move beyond their mutual suspicion, dislike and outright racism to develop a significant enterprise. Doing this can be tough – but one of the first things to consider is whether there’s a scenario where everyone gets something out of it. Here’s a brief article that explores in more detail some helpful tips to allow you to calculate and develop solutions like Marty.