By Joel Stein
It’s that time of year again where Game of Thrones is everywhere, not that I’m bothered as I will hands down say this I my favourite TV show ever. The world that George R.R. Martin has created is wide ranging and in depth coming with its own Wikipedia page for all things GOT. I have immersed myself and constantly find myself learning more about this world. I know not everyone will have watched the show (if you haven’t, sort it out) but it’s worth looking at what we can learn from something that is such a cultural phenomenon, in a business sense and in life. I’ll be writing a blog each week, during season 7, from the The Game of Thrones.
- Fail to plan and you plan to fail;
Some people may lose me here when I start mentioning character names but see if you can stick with the story. One of the great things about GOT is the amount of strong female characters. We are literally days away from the battles we have been waiting for. In the blue corner, we have the breaker of chains, the mother of dragons and everyone’s favourite Targaryen, Daenerys. In the Red corner, we have the mother of dead children, the blower upper of her enemies and all round badass Cersei Lannister. Both are ready for war, we saw both of them with a map of Westeros planning their next move. Cersei (surely we all noticed her stood on the neck and Jamie on the fingers!!!) has lived for this moment, planned for this moment every minute of her adult life. She schemes, mostly in an underhand way, but every move she makes is calculated. Is it a surprise that she has made it this far? Dany on the other hand started from a worse position but again she has taken calculated steps towards building what is obviously the most powerful army. Dany could easily have gone the way of her brother and not only thought it was her right to have the throne but also not put the proper preparation in to help her get there. She has taken her time and now she is ready to strike. Two of the most planned characters have lasted the longest. Obviously, Jon is the anomaly here. How many others are still angry at him for charging towards the Boltons? what a great example of plans being chucked aside and disaster striking!
- Loyalty never hurts as much as betrayal;
The first scene kicked us off in typical thrones fashion with Arya showing that ‘the North remembers’ by poisoning all that was left of House Frey. From the moment the Frey’s played their fateful part in the Red Wedding we had all been waiting for them to meet their maker. House Frey had always been loyal to the Starks but when they saw a better offer from the Lannisters (known for their deceit and single minded march towards power) they decided to change sides and betray the Stark’s. Now some people may say that when you see a better offer you should always take it. When said offer goes against people you have been loyal to for years, and they have been loyal to you, puts their life (let’s say livelihood in a business context) in danger it is never the right choice. Loyalty goes a long way, is a two way partnership and is definitely something that I live by having been at Precision Sourcing for 7 years. You cannot have good leadership without loyalty.
- As a leader sometimes you have to stick to your guns;
Now, we can all agree we love seeing Sansa finally free and ready to step up as a senior Stark. Has anyone else been through what she has? Some eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed she has the same hairstyle as Cersei previously had, which is a bit scary but also shows her admiration of how Cersei has manipulated and survived. Sansa disagreed with Jon’s assessment that the children of the houses that betrayed them should be spared. Sansa wanted punishment, retribution for their fathers’ actions and who can blame her after what she has endured? Jon stuck to his guns though, all this played out in front of all the lords he is meant to be ruling over. Sansa questioned him again and again, Jon pushed back until he finally had to say that he was in charge and his decision is final. The next scene we see Jon saying “when you question my decisions in front of the other Lords and Ladies you undermine me”. This is the key point here. Firstly, team members must understand when to speak up and when to respect decisions. If Sansa had discussed this with Jon in private, he wouldn’t have been so angry. Conversely, Jon showed strong leadership in allowing Sansa’s opinion to be heard but also sticking to the decision he felt was best in the situation, one I happened to agree with. Being a leader is hard enough without people undermining you in front of your company! Strong leaders know when to listen and when to stick to their guns.
So there we go, GOT season 7 episode 1 blog done!
Three lessons that were learnt? Loyalty is worth it, fail to plan and you will likely fail and finally how to be a good leader as shown by Jon Snow!
Can’t wait for episode 2
n.b. Joel’s predictions for the weeks ahead
1) There has to be an Ice dragon at some point!
2) Jorah will kill Dany
3) Bran has allowed the white walkers to follow him through the wall
4) Jon and Dany become the power couple of Westeros
5) Jamie kills Cersei