Game of Thrones has some applicable management lessons, even if you don’t have the power of life or death.
Games of Thrones has taken the world by storm and it’s not just from an entertainment perspective. People from all walks of life are learning a variety of skills from the HBO television series, and chief executive officers are no exception.
1. Always value your team.
During the season finale, Jon Snow is accompanied by Davos, Sansa and the Northern Houses, giving them a strong chance of surviving through the winter months. Jon Snow would not be able to achieve this without his team, a valuable lesson for any leader.
The key to being a CEO and managing a company is valuing the team members that help you make it happen. Remember, you may have the vision, and you need the right minds to bring it to life.
Social relationship expert John Hall, recently said “Relationships are like ketchup — only you can figure out if you need to have it on your burger or not.”
2. Make intelligent alliances.
I’m sure nobody expected or wanted Jon Snow to let the Wildings cross the wall, but he knew that winter was coming and that he could not keep Winterfell safe from the Night’s King; he decided to stop the White Walkers from increasing their numbers by getting people out of their reach.
Sometimes, the most unlikely alliances are the most intelligent ones. As a CEO or member of a management team, you must do what’s best for your company and your team. Create partnerships where they will offer value to your organization.
3. Motivate others to achieve common goals.
Jon Snow’s main goal is to save the North, along with his friends, family and loyal followers. He wanted everyone to work towards a common goal: to survive the war against the Night’s King and the unbearable winter months.
This valuable sense of passion and drive is something all CEOs should have and embrace. If you’re the CEO of a company, you need to share your passion with your teams to motivate them towards a common goal. Aside from making your organization more productive, you’ll create a deeper connection with the people you beside.
4. Stay in control.
Your job involves you keeping everything under control and running smoothly. As a CEO, if you lose control, you could lose control of your company.
In one episode, Janos Slynt disobeys Jon Snow. Slynt is then taken outside and decapitated by Jon Snow himself, thus establishing himself as a just leader who’s in control. That said, control is slightly different when it comes to the real world and business.
5. Maintain a human touch.
Balance control with a human touch. Multiple episodes show Jon Snow’s compassionate side. In the beginning, Jon Snow is the only one to take up for Sam. He also lets Ygritte leave rather than killing her during the fight between the Wildings and the Watch. Lastly, he shows a level of humanity when he puts Mance Rayder out of his misery rather than letting him slowly burn to death.
To be an effective leader, you must find the balance between control and compassion, then learn to display each trait at the right time. Despite your position of power, forgetting that can undermine respect for you as an authority figure.
6. Never stop learning.
Jon Snow was elected Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch but was also confidnet enough to ask for help and advice. He’s not ashamed of using the advice he receives if he feels it will benefit the situation.
The moral of this story is that CEOs don’t know everything. Just because you have been given a senior role with a higher pay grade and more responsibility doesn’t mean that you have suddenly become an expert on every aspect of the organization you’re running. For example, if you’ve trained in finance and are facing an IT problem, there’s no shame in asking your IT department for help.
Above all, it’s imperative that you remember who you are. To truly connect with your teams, you must be yourself. As the CEO of a company, you need to identify your strengths and weaknesses. From there, you can create the right teams and motivate them towards the common goal of making your organization a success.
Credit: MURRAY NEWLANDS