Leadership Lessons from Game of Thrones


(Free of Spoilers)

Game of Thrones is all about magic, dragons, kingdoms and wars. Wrong!!!

Game of Thrones is also a hotbed of management and leadership lessons. All you need to do is keep an open eye and mind.

Here’s a list of 7 lessons from Game of Thrones for the budding leaders.

1. Develop Soft Skills

Tyrion Lannister possesses neither warrior like abilities like his brother Jaime nor magnetic presence like his father Tywin. However, he more than makes up with his political acumen and his insights into interpersonal relationships. His high Emotional Quotient (EQ) helps Tyrion sense the situation and person and act according to the context. He sweet talks his way into advantageous opportunities and never offends anyone useful to his objectives.

2. Don’t trust everyone on their word

Eddard Stark is the archetype of a righteous guy with clearly defined morals and principles. However, he places his trust in a person like Petyr Baelish, who lacks the same moral foundations. In the end, Eddard is betrayed by Petyr and Eddard ends up decapitated.

3. Listen to your advisors

When Robb Stark marries Talisa, all of his advisors point out the fallacies. Despite having given his word to the Freys, Robb refuses the advice of his senior council including his mother and goes ahead. The next thing you know, even Robb ends up losing his head.

4. Run on strategy and not emotions

Theon Greyjoy is sent to the Iron Islands as a Stark envoy. But, when his father offers him an opportunity to lead a band of troops, all of Theon’s energies are concentrated on gaining the respect of his troops. So, he abandons the strategic vision of Greyjoy plundering and pillaging, and captures his foster home of Winterfell. Ultimately, Theon saves his head but loses another vital organ.

5. Believe in yourself and your ideas

When Danaerys Targaryen builds a funeral pyre of her husband Khal Drogo, nobody expects her to enter it herself. But when she picks up her 3 dragon eggs and starts to walk toward the pyre, everyone around her shouts and dissuades her to do it. However, Danaerys believes in herself and she ends with her head in tact and 3 dragons to boot.

6. Learn your Deficiencies and Learn to Delegate

Almost a child when he succeeds his “father” Robert Baratheon, Joffrey Baratheon’s first step is to order the execution of Eddard Stark and thus initiate the War of Five Kings. When his brother Tommen succeeds him, he places the responsibility of running the kingdom to Tywin and he wins the War by eliminating all threats.

7. Create a succession plan

Upon absolute victory on the battlefield, Tywin entered King’s Landing with the clear objective of bringing the administration of Westeros into order. But his successes made Tywin too confident of his future and he ended up dead without a succession plan in place. Within a short span of time, his daughter Cersei lost kingdom and their very home of Casterly Rock. Very few of us will die of a crossbow used by our sons while we are busy in the washroom, but don’t leave your succession plan for another day, thinking life is long.

Game of Thrones is a treasure mine for those willing to learn. What have learnt from it? Comment below.