As we all are waiting for the next season of Game Of Thrones to go on air, I thought of going back and look into some of the hidden details of this marvellous TV series. I was literally pushed and forced to see this awesome series by my wife, as I am not much of a fan of this specific genre. And I am thankful to her that she made me watch this, else, I would have missed a lot of great work done by the team of Game Of Thrones and the leadership lessons one could learn from it. Seriously, you must listen to Khaleesi of your house.
Last time I wrote an article about my favourite character “Tyrion Lannister” in the series from whom, one could learn a lot about leadership. While he still is my favourite, however in this changing world where we see an increasing number of Women Leaders (which is actually a good thing). There is this one character that attracted my attention towards her leadership style. Of course there are no prizes to guess the right name, which undoubtedly is Daenerys Targaryen aka “Khaleesi”
Those who don’t know who this amazing character is, I would highly recommend to go an watch the entire series or read the masterpiece “A Song of Ice and Fire” written by George R.R. Martin. Well! it would not be advisable for me to keep talking about the characters and the role they have played in the series. Let me directly come to the point, and share what leadership skills I believe every one can learn from the “Mother of Dragons”
Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you
When it is about leading a team towards the path of success, as a true leader, you must influence the team by proving yourself time and again to your teams. You must become a brand in yourself that people would want to follow and wants to be like in future. To do so, you must know your competitors and what they are weak at, because if you are doing what others are doing then you are just following the crowd. You need to identify what your competitors are missing, and use it for your advantage.
A title, position, and corner office may earn them extra pay and benefits, but respect is something that does not automatically come with a leadership position. This has to be earned and is one of the most difficult entities for a leader to acquire. Respected leaders are not always liked by everyone and not always popular.
Stay focused to the vision of your organisation
In the path of a leader will always challenges and moments where you might feel lost and derailed. But, a true leader never loses the focus and stays on the path of achieving what is best of the organisation and what has been the vision. Just like in the series, although Khaleesi has won every time in the wars, but the journey for her being a women had never been easy. It is her focus and persuasiveness that always ensures her victory.
“ It’s a beautiful dream, stopping the wheel. You’re not the first person who’s ever dreamt it,” – Tyrion Lannister
Khaleesi on many occasion had solid reasons to give up and give in to pressure from everywhere but she never broke. She is always ready with a plan. If one doesn’t work than she moves to other list of plans that she always keeps with her, but never give up until she wins. No matter how bad the situation is, there is always a way out. And focussing on finding the way out is the attitude that gets results.
Skill of balancing between rewarding and punishing
For a strong leader it is very important to keep the team intact and high performing. After all the teams are made of humans, that has emotions, ups and downs, joy of victory and sorrow of defeat. To keep the motivation high one must be rewarded appropriately for the efforts, and for the failures and non performance, leader should not shy away in punishing as well.
Like in the Game of Thrones, Khaleesi always steps forward and reward when necessary and does not hesitate to punish when required.
Be surrounded by people who are better than you
In the battlefield of business and competition, you either have to be on top of the skill chart in all domains or be surrounded with the people in your company who are better than you in the domains where you lack skill or experience. Like Khaleesi in the series has immense valour and fairness, but lacks diplomacy, war skills, and politics. And she knows that, hence she has people like Tyrion Lannister, for the politics and diplomacy, Jorah Mormont for war skills and her dragons as her lethal weapons.
Bigger battles are won by sharper brains than stronger muscles
One thing that stands out very clear in the series is that battles are often won by strategies than of all muscle power. Khaleesi is by far less physically powerful in comparison to many of her rivals, yet she always finds a way to defeat them, for that she don’t use her physical strength but the sharp mind that he holds up in her head. In a Business as well, you don’t need to go head on with your competitors but need to focus on strategies of how to utilise their weak points to your advantage and win in the business battlefield.
Khaleesi is a very strong character in the series and an inspiration for not only for the leaders to learn some great leadership lessons but also for those who wish to live their dreams.
About the Author
Dr. Manan is the founder of #GlocalizedHR and a 360º HR Setup and Transformation services company Fortune Architect. He is a scholar of Human Resources and works closely with companies design their data-driven talent acquisition strategies that drive effectiveness, growth, and competitive advantage. He also speaks, writes and chairs conferences on HR Development and management.
Follow his articles : https://glocalizedhr.wordpress.com