From Cersei Lannister to Daenerys Targaryen, every major character in Game of Thrones has a different approach when it comes to leadership.
Over the last seven seasons, we have come to learn that attaining power is hard, and maintaining that power is even harder. The same holds true in the real world.
Corporate competition often lies in outmanoeuvring opponents for promotions, but also in collaborating with fellow colleagues – and occasionally with bitter rivals.
Though today’s workplace is not set in a mythical land, there are certainly a number of lessons that can be learnt from the successes and failures of our favourite fictional characters.
Throughout the show we see a variety of leadership styles. Which do you recognise and relate to the most?
The self-serving leader
Cersei Lannister falls under the category of a calculating and manipulative leader, who would probably not win her position by popular vote.
Though her methods are sometimes questionable, Cersei does know how to get things done. But her approach can be shady.
People want to believe that their managers are open and upfront. More often than not, staff can tell if their employer isn’t being honest with them, which isn’t good for anyone.
The inspiring leader
Though at times impetuous, Jon Snow knows how to inspire action.
Regardless of the circumstance, he leads by example, which ultimately encourages others to join him in his endeavours, no matter how dangerous, risky, or outlandish they may be.
In today’s world, it would be safe to say that Jon Snow would have a very inspired and engaged workforce – something that is often hard to achieve.
A good leader does not order people around, but instead jumps into the fray and leads by example.
When members of the team see their leaders rolling up their sleeves, unafraid to face difficult tasks, they will happily follow suit.
The leader with the best intentions
Over the years, we have seen Daenerys Targaryen attempt to make all the right decisions for her people. But her youth and naivety have frequently left her susceptible to being misled by the guile of others.
However, what she lacks in wisdom she more than makes up for by putting her people first – as every good leader should.
The team’s perception of their leader’s interest in their wellbeing and development has been shown to increase their engagement. Even leaders who aren’t the most seasoned will gain tremendous advantage by putting people first.
The leader who plays to their strengths
A wise leader who values knowledge and intelligence, Tyrion Lannister knows how to play to his strengths, leveraging his family status and intellect to build advantageous relationships, and ultimately to survive.
He’s well aware that he’ll never be able to wield a sword like his brother Jaime, but he doesn’t let this hold him back – instead he uses his charisma, humour and occasional ruthlessness to get ahead.
Even though Tyrion isn’t the commander of a great army, or battling for the throne, we see his leadership skills showcased as a mentor to others. His charm and intelligence allow him to exert influence, which is hugely valuable in business.
Overall, great power is a brutal business. It demands a high price, often leading to great personal sacrifice.
With that said, we haven’t even seen what the Night King is capable of yet. He might yet turn out to be the greatest leader of the lot. Roll on season 8.