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Whether you’re a fan or not, we can all learn some powerful lessons on how to be a good leader and various leadership styles as portrayed by the characters on the show. Spoiler alert for the final season — you’ve been warned!
Be a visionary warrior.
Daenerys Targaryen has dramatically evolved over the years, from an inspiring dreamer to a warrior queen. Dany was the underdog who started with nothing. We were all rooting for her because she believed in herself and her life’s purpose. Throughout the first seven seasons, she represented passion, patience and persistence — characteristics all great leaders and entrepreneurs should cultivate.
Based on my own entrepreneurial journey, I believe that knowing your “why,” having confidence in yourself and focusing on your BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) will keep you on track to success. Times get tough, but it doesn’t matter if you fall down — what matters is picking yourself back up. When you do, you will inspire others to follow and support you along the way.
Don’t be a destructive tyrant.
In your quest to be a visionary leader, just be careful to not become a Daenerys of Season 8 — a delusional, destructive tyrant, much like Queen Cersei Lannister, her enemy. Both were leaders who decided to win at all costs, which resulted in them losing everything in the end. They ultimately believed in ruling by fear and had a close circle of enablers, many of whom were too afraid to stand up to them. If anyone opposed them or threatened their power, Cersei and Daenerys made sure they were destroyed.
Ruling by fear should never be a viable leadership strategy, but many leaders do it in a much more subtle fashion — and even inadvertently. In order to avoid this trap, it’s important that your trusted advisors and team feel safe and are encouraged to speak up about ideas, improvements and conflicts without repercussions. In addition, less time should be spent on crushing the competition and more time should be spent becoming the best version of yourself and your company.
Act as an intelligent diplomat.
Tyrion Lannister often served as the voice of reason of the show. He falls into the category of a skillful politician with good leadership qualities, preferring to solve matters with words over violence. His reputation of being smart, compassionate and humble has served him well since the beginning of the series. In later seasons, he made a number of mistakes, but at least he had the courage to admit them. That’s why so many characters respected his counsel and he ended up as the king’s main advisor.
In times of conflict, follow Tyrion’s example by demonstrating empathy. Listen to both sides and put yourself in the shoes of those disagreeing. After that, I recommend seeking a creative win-win solution as opposed to just a compromise, which is a lose-lose strategy when neither party ends up happy.
Form a dynamic duo.
Who says you must have only one leader in a pack? Look at Steve Squared of Apple — some things come better in pairs, such as the beloved Stark sisters Sansa and Arya. Over the years, we have watched them mature into strong and intelligent women. Sansa has mastered the art of grace with a healthy dose of skepticism. Arya, on the other hand, prefers being a lone wolf and a skilled warrior. Despite their differences, they both have the respect and loyalty of their people, and together they are a force to be reckoned with.
Forming strong strategic alliances in business is something that you should always keep an eye out for. If you are interested in finding a co-founder or business partner with whom to share your leadership responsibilities, I recommend looking for someone who complements you in areas where you are lacking. That way, you can focus on your strengths and build an executive leadership team that has one or more experts to cover all aspects of your business.
Above all, be a servant leader.
Jon Snow is a great example of this ideal leadership style. As a servant leader, he focused primarily on the well-being of his people and of the realm as a whole. He never sought power and was mindful of putting the needs of others before his own. He considered himself as an equal and always fought on the battlefield with his team, sharing the credit with everyone involved. That was one of the many reasons why the people of the North and audiences around the world loved him.
In order to master this exemplary leadership style, start by letting go of your ego and cultivating a strong desire to serve others. You can do that by always asking yourself, “How best can I serve my team so that they can perform at their best?” Then, imagine the positive impact that would have for your company culture, your customers and, ultimately, your vision. When you can lead by example, where no one and no duty is beneath you, you will naturally influence others to love and support you as a leader.
May 31, 2019 at 08:03AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs