“Game of Thrones” is over. But regardless of the fact that we like the end or not, we can look at the show using a different perspective. While we were following this fantasy series and being completely crazy about its storyline, there are also practical things we can learn from it. Moreover, you will be amazed to find out how much you can learn from GoT in terms of marketing and business strategies.
If you are a business geek and GoT fan, this is an article you won’t want to miss. Here you will find tips that can take your company to the peaks of success.
Leadership, achieving goals, winning over the competitors and providing a resolution are basic themes of the show. It’s all about finding a way out of a problem and negotiating through whatever means possible. Doesn’t this remind you of the business world?
Another key aspect that deserves our attention is the team involved in your business. You can’t have a successful business if you don’t have a good team that sticks together. Just like the humble and patriotic warriors in Game of Thrones. A loyal worker can do wonders for its company, especially if they are treated properly. The only difference is that no blood will be shed.
In the following article, we will share ideas that you can apply to your business through the storyline of “Game of Thrones”.
1. Empower Your Employees
In Game of Thrones, Daenerys buys a troop of slaves, trains them and they do as they are commanded. One very important attribute that she adopts is that she gives her troops freedom and motivation. They feel they are important to her and hence remain loyal to their Mistress.
In turn, they seem to be even more loyal to her- by choice- rather than by force.
Treating your employees with respect and supporting them in their difficulties, will make them more motivated. If you think of them more like friends than just employees, for sure you will achieve better results.
It comes down to proper human resource management. The good managers will make sure that their employees are being taken care of. To get the most out of your employees’ performances you need to make sure that their basic necessities are being met. An effective financial plan and recognition as a result of an efficient performance will help you to have happy employees.
2. Always Listen to Your Followers
Daenerys is a good leader example: during all the seasons her goal was to make the world better. She offered her people freedom and they loved her. Along with the show, she acted in their best interests, always thinking what benefitted them the most. No innocent people died. But in the end, she made a mistake that cost her life.
Her second dragon was killed, her trusted advisor and handmaid Missandei was killed as well. All these losses affected her. Daenerys got so furious, she started killing innocent people. When everyone thought that there would be no more war, she announced that,
“the war is not over until we liberate the world”
– an announcement which her people and closest associates did not agree with.
The fatal mistake she made was to let fear and insecurity fill her with doubt which in turn spurred her to declare a global war. She didn’t think of the innocent people that were to be killed and she refused to listen to her followers. As a result, she was killed by her beloved Jon Snow.
In the business and marketing context, you won’t, literally, lose your life. But your business can be smashed by your competitors who listen better to their audience.
You need to think about your target customers and followers. The first point of each marketing or business plan is the target audience, the people who you are providing the solution to. If you want your business to succeed you need to listen to your audience.
Nobody likes receiving negative reviews or complaints from customers. But sometimes this is the feedback we can learn from. By making mistakes and paying attention to people’s suggestions we can improve our product or service.
3. Winter Is Coming, Adapt
Let’s remember now the beginning of the series. When Ned Stark says for the first time the emblematic quote “Winter is coming”. As the winter approaches all the Seven Kingdoms are threatened by the White Walkers.
As a result of that, the Seven Kingdoms start preparing for a future winter. The preparation consists of negotiating between them, fighting and killing each other. Everyone has to adapt to new conditions. As Queen Cersei states,
“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”
In the business world, fortunately, you won’t be attacked by the White Walkers, but you can be attacked by your competitors who are adapting to the market’s change faster than you.
No matter if you like it or not, the world changes.
The market changes and new trends are constantly popping up. You should be prepared for those changes and take them as opportunities rather than obstacles.
For instance, don’t stick to your old website, because you like it and you feel too nostalgic to update it. Check the new trends, ask your customers for feedback and upgrade it regularly.
4. Be Honest and Keep Your Word
Do you remember the famous lines of the house of Lannister?
“A Lannister always pays his debts.”
Literally they are rich and they often emphasize it. However, this moto actually states that they are trustworthy. When they promise something – they keep their promises.
Of course, speaking about the Lannisters, their famous words have also negative aspects. If you mess with them, you can be sure they will get their revenge.
How does this relate to the business world? Be reliable and honest to everyone – to your customers, partners and to your team.
In terms of your customers – provide them with impeccable products and services, so they can trust you. Speaking of your partners – the same story. Trust each other, because you are partners and you are supposed to help each other. Don’t seek revenge if your partners make a mistake or a problem comes up.
Regarding your team – you are together in this, and if you are not honest with each other this can impact your business. If you don’t have a good team and your employees don’t trust you – your business won’t grow.
5. Don’t Be Afraid of Taking Risks
Remember when Daenerys invites Jon Snow to ride a dragon? He has never done this before and says that he doesn’t know how to do that. Daenerys’s answers is “Nobody does until they ride a dragon.”
Don’t be afraid of taking risks. Be brave. You will never achieve better business results if you don’t try implementing something new. Sometimes the craziest ideas turn out the be the best ones.
Be inspired by Jon Snow’s example.
At the beginning of last season, the focus is on the Battle of Winterfell. The Houses of Starks, Arryns and Targaryens and other characters from all the Seven Kingdoms united against the White Walkers, because the time has come.
All these families had one common goal – to destroy the dead army. How they did it? They built upon a strategy. They gathered the information they had about the enemy and they elaborated a plan.
As Arya Stark’s answer to the question of what do we say to the God of Death?
Long term planning is a basic ingredient in helping your company survive through good and bad times. Backup plans and crisis management are essential for a company’s progress. This involves thorough strategic planning which includes market analysis and the future of your company’s product. It may also include surveys and public opinions about your company.
A better planner who can predict the possibilities of a catastrophe always succeeds. The ones who don’t, are likely to suffer the consequences. In business terms, these consequences can be referred to as a crash – something that negatively affects your whole company. What you need to do is not to give up and respond with a “Not today”. Keep fighting and implement new strategies.
7. Set a Positive Example
Lots of characters appear and disappear during all eight GoT seasons. It was pretty hard to remember all their names. However, for sure, there is no GoT fan in the world who doesn’t remember Ned Stark. Even though he died in the first season.
Ned Stark is one of the most honorable and decent men in all the series. He has principles, a good heart, wisdom, and most importantly, honor. He would rather die than betray his beliefs.
“You think my life is such a precious thing to me, that I would trade my honor for a few more years… of what?”
What we can learn from his example in the business world? As you start your business, you must establish your brand purpose, vision, mission, and values. And you must follow them in order to build up your brand.
You need to be honest with your audience and fight for your beliefs as Ned Stark did. Be a good example for your audience and for your team.
8. Build a Good Reputation
When you hear “Kingslayer”, who comes immediately to your mind? That’s right – Jaime Lannister. He killed the Mad King a long time ago and afterward he did many good things.During the series, he turned into a positive character. Nevertheless, and until the end of the series, he was called the Kingslayer.
What does this example tell us in terms of business? A good reputation is fragile and it needs years to be built back up. And once it’s been built up there are no guarantees you can keep it untarnished.
9. You Are What You Do, Not What You Say
Lord Tywin Lannister teaches a lesson in leadership with this phrase “Any man who must say I am the king is no true king.” Referring to his grandchild Joffrey Baratheon, who was one of the cruelest and most hated characters in the show. Joffrey became a king for a while, but he lacked lots of qualities a leader must have.
If you need to highlight and emphasize that you are a leader, this means that you lack the quality of leadership. If your employees don’t respect you and you need to remind them that you are the boss, this will impact on your business negatively.
Be a good example and leader, motivate your team, listen to your audience. As you can see there are a lot of lessons we can learn from the series Game of Thrones. Check out the above-listed examples and think about how you can implement them into your business.
Adapt, be one step ahead of your competitors, and don’t forget… Winter is coming!