Our Game of Thrones business tips #2
There’s been lots of Season 7 hype recently. Which has prodded me to get another GoT fix and start thinking back to some of my favourite quotes we’ve had along the way. And of course, how they relate to lessons we can all learn in business. So here’s part deux to our first Game of Thrones business tips post…
1. “A bruise is a lesson, and each lesson makes us better” – Arya Stark
Arya is such a badass. She can be a psychopath on occasion, but she is mainly a badass. She never takes no for an answer and if she’s fallen 8 times then she’s stood up 9. And where has that gotten her? She’s now basically a ninja with a sword who can change her identity. And I defy you to tell me that’s not awesome and not something you’d temporarily give up your eyesight for.
What does that show? It means that failing is OK guys. In fact, it’s super important to how we get better at anything. Bruises aren’t something everyone wants to put up with or even have on show, but they always fade. And if you take what you learn to heart it will keep you strong. This, along with an acceptance that sometimes mistakes happen, will mean you’ll become a risk taker. Which is a surprisingly rare quality. Helping you to stand out and get stuff done. And besides, nobody stands out when they’re doing the same as everyone else.
2. “I’m not going to stop the wheel, I’m going to break the wheel” – Daenerys Targaryen
Dany is the inspiration for most of Beyoncé’s songs. Fact.
Pretty obvious isn’t it? Think different people! It’s something that’s preached a lot and is incredibly important in business in order to stay ahead.
Look at Dany. Does she ever settle? Hell no. If she did she’d be back with the dying Dothraki and be just another character that didn’t make it along the way. But no, she stepped up. Did she think slavery was working? Nope. Did she change it? Yep. And was she afraid to be seen as unorthodox? Hells no. As a consequence, Dany is stronger than ever, respected by her people and is heading to Seven Kingdoms to go ruin everybody’s shit.
So how do you learn from this attitude? Well firstly, don’t settle. Just because the way you do things has worked before, doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do things now. The moment that a task or aspect of your job becomes time-consuming or a hassle – there’s room for improvement. And if it’s not necessarily the best way to do things for you, chances are it’s not the best way for your team or even your customers. Which could cause them to go looking for a different company that does do things differently. But by keeping on top of this you’ll ensure that your team and customers stick with you through thick and thin. Just like Jorah’s sworn fealty to Dany. Ya know, just without the whole banishing and un banishing.
3. “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword” – Eddard Stark
Oh Eddard, how wise and moral you were. You were too pure for the Seven Kingdoms, which is why you didn’t make it to season 2. Or maybe that’s because you were played by Sean Bean – but back to the point. This is the first of many lessons we’re taught by Ned and it’s something that everyone should practice in business. Especially when it comes to demonstrating your leadership skills.
How do you ensure your team take on this mentality? Give each team member an aspect of ownership from day one. Whether it’s a core part of the business or a smaller process. By giving every team member something that is wholly theirs, at some point, this will have to be exercised. Teaching your team – and yourself – to step up and take responsibility for any decision making whilst reinforcing the importance of trusting your judgment. Which is something you want to encourage in your company’s culture. As being able to delegate tasks is one thing, but leaving it to other team members to take care an issue that’s yours, or to voice one of your problems, is a sign of weak leadership. Which, if in The Seven Kingdoms, would mean that you would’ve been about as popular as King Joffrey. Just sayin’.