I’m not referring to medieval warfare or lassoing dragons to intimidate your competition – though that would be pretty effective with your customers. There’s a reason why HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is so popular, and it may not be what you think… I’ve rounded up 5 of the most important lessons you can learn from George R. R. Martin’s fictional empire that when applied to your business can annihilate like Khaleesi’s Dragons when it comes to your next product launch.
1. Learn to be Ruthless
The world of “Game of Thrones” is defined by last names – Baratheon, Lannister, Stark, the list goes on. Since friends can become foes in a single finger-snap, it’s important to keep a ruthless spirit in order to survive and remain loyal to your family crest. Apply a ruthless spirit to your business by pushing yourself and your “family” (i.e. team members) to the outer-limits of every task. Don’t be intimidated by your opponents, but rather be ready for battle.
2. Seek Guidance
Lord Varys, otherwise known as “The Eunuch,” is often a sage voice of reason to many of the Lanisters’ problems. Without him, most arguments would end in blood shed (well, more than they already do). Just like Luke Skywalker at Obi-Wan, find your own mentor in someone who’s been there before and has nothing personally invested in your issues. Once you do, you’ll be able to strategize more effectively and find yourself having the upper hand against the next battle you fight.
“It takes courage to admit fear.” George R. R. Martin, novelist, co-executive producer of Game of Thrones
3. Know When to Keep Quiet
You must be strategic with what secrets to tell, and to whom. The next person you “invite into your chamber” could be the person who’s going to stab you in the back. This can be seen as toxic team members or investors who don’t have your best interest at heart. Learn when to keep mum about your inner-secrets and you’ll be better protected.
“Knowledge could be more valuable than gold, more deadly than a dagger.” George R. R. Martin, novelist, co-executive producer of Game of Thrones
4. The Night is Dark, and Full of Many Terrors
Lady Melisandre may be one of hell of a fiery chick capable of very nasty things, but she knows her stuff – she warns Stanis Baratheon that “the night is dark, and full of many terrors.” Don’t walk into situations that are new and scary without the proper protection – seek legal guidance before signing contracts, vet your investors before bringing them onboard.
“Once you have accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.” George R. R. Martin, novelist, co-executive producer of Game of Thrones
5. Winter is Coming
Nothing is forever, even if you’re in the middle of a 5-year Summer like the characters of “Game of Thrones.” They know that “winter is coming” and so should you. Don’t get cocky when you’re business is ‘up’, thinking it could never get ‘low.’ Approach your business with this wisdom and make sure you’re forming the right kind of foundation that can withstand any season – summer or winter.