Leadership is challenging but not difficult. To achieve better results as a leader, there must be the willingness to guide yourself, your colleagues and followers towards the right path and the readiness to face challenges.
Game of Thrones, HBO’s popular television series portrays many past chronicles of leadership, reversals, loyalty, betrayals, conflicts and coalitions. What might look like a reasonable decision at the initial stage might turn out to be a wrong step when executed.
In the real world, we hardly face literal execution but we are pushed to make decisions with unpredictable results and wrenching tensions. Sometimes, we make decisions that might see our projects fail, or put our family fortune at stake. As leaders, it is important we learn how to manage the tension and uncertainty surrounding the decision we make in our business.
Below are some of the leadership lessons learned from the Game of Thrones:
While Ned Stark fails to align values with the people around him, he also failed at building trust with important leaders which happens to be one of the reasons why he got himself surrounded by lots of enemies. The ideal way to build trust is to unite around a common value or a purpose. Tyrion Lannister is one of the characters that built trust with Daenerys Targaryen by letting her know every detail about his life and uniting them around a common purpose. Building trust with your colleagues is vital in shaping as a good leader in your workplace.
Networking is important
The series showed how Tyrion Lannister uses EQ to network and build alliances which resulted in success. Tyrion said “he tries to meet as many people as he can because he doesn’t know which one he will need”.He can easily identify weaknesses in others and is great at delegation and teamwork. Business leaders must understand the essence of networking and the need to build a strategic and long term relationship with everyone.
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.
– Warren Bennis
In the GOT series, Jon Snow is the illegitimate son of Ned Stark, the honorable lord of Winterfell. The series showed how Jon snow learned to be persuasive and how he suffered greatly when he was unable to shake people from a so-called latitude of rejection, the point where nobody wants to accept change. Professionally, business leaders must remain constantly vigilant and always prepared for change. Leaders have to constantly be on the lookout for better processes, persuade colleagues to follow them, accept feedback and model resilience for team members.
Know your strengths
According to Bruce Craven, leaders are saddled with an obligation to understand the challenges and opportunities our values could present. Neglecting this can have dire consequences, as seen in the first season of the series, Ned Stark finds himself undermined as a result of his inability to look inward and see how his personal values of honor and duty can make him vulnerable to exploitation in Kings Landing. Identifying one’s value is an important phase in understanding and shaping yourself as a good leader.
Game of Thrones illustrates over and over again that those willing to make great personal sacrifices, work towards a common goal, learn from their experiences, make right decisions, plan their strategy and impact people – make the best leaders.