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Leadership Lessons Learned From Game Of Thrones

By: Kelly Bolton   Date: August 2, 2017

Game of Thrones, based on the novels by George R. R. Martin, is one of the most popular TV shows going right now. It just kicked off its new season, to tremendous ratings. The fantasy world and the stories within it are a great means of escapism for the viewers. But that’s not all they can offer. As with many TV shows and movies, there are often morals and lessons that can be learned from them as well as just “getting away from it all” for a brief period of time. Game of Thrones can also offer a variety of lessons to the viewer. For example, there are a variety of leadership lessons it can teach us.

1.  Advisers

A smart leader has advisers and listens to them. Advisers are often wiser than their leaders, being able to see and analyse things, yet lacking the power or charisma of a leader to use their wisdom. A good leader will surround himself with people wiser than him and will listen to them.

2. Weaknesses

Leaders know what their weaknesses are. As Tywin tells Tommen in the fourth season, “A wise king knows what he knows and what he doesn’t.” Cersei, on the other hand, does not trust anyone, cannot delegate, and does not inspire others to follow her, but to fear her. By the time she realises the errors of her ways, it’s too late. A good leader can turn their weaknesses into strengths, but first, they must know what their weaknesses are.

3. Enemies

A good leader knows when to manage his enemies. He knows where his allegiances lie and will weed out enemies as soon as possible. He also knows that sometimes terrible things have to be done and sacrifices made (eliminate the enemy, abandon principles, etc.), for the greater good.

4. Trust, but with caution

While it’s a good idea to trust cautiously and not give too much information to people you hardly know, trust is still vital for a business to have organisational and better performance. Good leaders should be able to identify who they can trust and know how to gain the trust of other people in order to reach goals.

5. Lead by example

As a leader, those under you will follow your example. If they see you behaving a certain way, they will think it’s okay for them to do the same. Like Ned Stark, a leader should “mean what he says and say what he means.” He is a role model and must be held accountable for his actions. He must embody and reflect the values others are to emulate.

6. Stand Firm

A good leader holds fast to his convictions. Tywin Lannister is known for doing what he must, to ensure the legacy of the Lannisters, and do what he believes is right and not allowing others to sway his decisions. A leader’s decisions are often either made with other people or will impact other people. A leader makes decisions for the good of others and not only himself. Stand firm on your convictions and don’t let another person’s choices make you doubt yourself.

There are many other examples of leadership lessons from Game of Thrones, and you can find some of them here, here, here, and here.

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