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Shireen Qudosi

Leadership Lessons from Game of Thrones

Feb 14 2013, 06:00 AM by

In anticipation of the upcoming Season 3 release of Game of Thrones, we’ve drummed up some quick and fast inspirational leadership lessons. Season 3 racks up lessons in leadership, from obvious ones involving a certain Targaryen who finally stops plundering long enough to learn what it means to lead, to little Arya who racks up an enviable amount of travel miles running back and forth over Westeros in search of help, only to realize she needs to help herself. There are plenty of other leadership lessons to be learned in Season 3, particularly from the men:
Dragonstone: 1, King’s Landing: 0
The Lannisters may have defeated Stannis with wildfire, but the game is far from over. Laying low, Stannis drums up support from the only group all of Westeros seems to have forgotten, the Night’s Watch. As the only king to answer their distress call, Stannis gains a powerful advantage. Though the Wall answers to no one, it might now have to answer to Stannis.

Leadership Lesson: Find out who in your team is being overlooked and work to meet their needs. You can count on them as powerful allies while you plot, plunder and scheme your way to the top.
“There Be Dragons”
Whispers of dragons are flowing through Westeros and in the traditional pompous arrogance of Westeros leadership, no one is paying attention. While the five kings are battling it out, across the sea a more powerful army is patiently gaining strength and ground.

Leadership Lesson: Don’t ignore the rumors. If the little people are talking, there’s probably some truth to what they’re saying. They’re too busy being poor and pillaged to be making things up.
Everybody Hates an Oath Breaker
Few would contest that Jaime Lannister is the best knight around, but people are too busy calling him a “kingslayer” to pay attention to any other attribute. On the same note, novice Robb Stark may have smashed Lannister forces with a stunning succession of victories, but one little broken oath will cost him dearly. A broken engagement in favour of a more lucrative alliance is also the cause of Joffrey’s much-deserved demise.

Leadership Lesson: Don’t make promises you can’t keep. People will hate you for it; they might even try and kill you.
Once an Imp, Always an Imp
Poor imp – I mean, Tyrion. Despite his clever ideas, quick thinking and unquestioning allegiance to House Lannister, he remains ever a demonized figure at King’s Landing. In a twisted series of events where cruelty to him is laughed off and his heroic feats are continually overlooked, the Imp suffers through a charade of a wedding and subsequent trial – all because he’s seen as nothing more than a hideous imp.

Same goes for poor fat Sam Tarly, who despite defeating an Other and saving a young girl and babe from the bloodshed at Craster’s Keep, is never seen as more than clumsy coward.

Leadership Lesson: Branding is powerful, even if it’s the wrong kind of branding – and it’s not always in ink and paper.
Here Lies Lord Mormont…
…a fool who convinced himself in the power of oaths. Westeros is brimming with oath breakers, reaching well past the Wall and to Craster’s Keep, where a pack of cold and starved Night’s Watchmen couldn’t possibly have ditched oath and honor fast enough.

Leadership Lesson: Never underestimate anyone. After all, ethics are an idea, not iron shackles.

Posted in Tips & Resources, Current Events

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