Of course, the real world is not Game Of Thrones, a fantasy world with dragons, dragon queens, super heroes and white walkers. But, there are a few key leadership lessons we can learn!
This is for people watching Game Of Thrones, if you are not, then please do not read as it will contain spoilers! And we all know you will join us eventually.
Use your strongest talent for your most pressing business challenges
Jon Snow and Jorah Mormont are two of Daenerys’ strongest and loyal supporters. It had to be them to lead the journey to retrieve a white walker. The white walker was critical so that it can be used to get Cersei on board to join forces to fight the white walkers and their zombies.
Know your people’s strengths and assign them accordingly
When Jon Snow sees that they will be ambushed by a horde of wights (the zombie things that White Walkers created). Jon Snow quickly turns to Gendry and asks him to be the one to run to the Wall and organise the raven to go to Daenerys asking for urgent help. He protests, but Jon Snow states bluntly that he is the fastest. If that’s not leadership, then I don’t know what is! The fact that Gendry did make it and the raven was critical in getting them assistance at that crucial point.
Groom your replacement
Brienne of Tarth has groomed Podrick Payne over several seasons. To the extent that she trusts him to look after Sansa when she needs to go to Kinds Landing. Big ups to Brienne for investing time in coaching Podrick to become an astute swordsman and protector, if you remember he could not even hold a sword! Are we investing time and energy into grooming replacements?
Have advisors around you who can challenge you and help shape your vision
An excellent example is Tyrion (an astute strategic advisor) who consistently provides Daenerys with more than just strategic guidance. He also disagrees with her and is an active participant in shaping the vision of the ‘new world’ they want to create.
Go for the hearts and minds of your subjects (employees) and do not use fear to lead
This is the ongoing coaching that Tyrion provides to Daenerys, don’t lead with fear. Yes, it will get you results but not endearing loyalty, people will be waiting for you to die (or leave the department in our world okay). Allow people to buy into the bigger vision and journey; you will get better results and more engaged team members.
When building an empire (or company; team) begin as you mean to go on
Tyrion coaches Daenerys to not start with death and destruction to win the war. But to show the people that she is a leader striving for a better world for everyone. If she starts with death and destruction that will be her legacy and she will be no different from others.
Inclusion and Diversity is HUGE in Game of Thrones!
We see that the key players in Game of Thrones currently are women. Even though due to their gender, they were not meant to be there. Sansa is Lady of Winterfell, Arya is a badass, Cersei is Queen of Kings Landing! Also, if you look at the board of advisors which Daenerys has, she has a female, males and all from different back grounds. In this way she gets a various perspectives as she leads and conquers.
So although we do not have dragons flying around in our world, we should keep an eye on these lessons!
So… die hard Game of Thrones fans, did I miss anything?