5 Lessons Game of Thrones Will Teach Entrepreneurs
If you are like me, then you are hopelessly addicted to George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.I will admit I have read all the books so far; I will only speak so far as season 3 in the T.V show. I would hate to ruin the epicness soon to follow in season 4.
When reading the books I was particularly impressed with the knowledge expressed that is applicable to today’s entrepreneurs. Here are 5 lessons I learned from reading Game of Thrones.
#1 Know your Strengths and Weaknesses
“I have a realistic grasp of my own strengths and weaknesses. My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his war hammer, and I have my mind… and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge. That’s why I read so much, Jon Snow.” -Tyrion Lannister
Being successful means one must know all their personal strengths. It is even more important to understand your personal weaknesses.
In understanding your weaknesses, you create the opportunity to surround yourself with partners that complement you. Entrepreneurs that fail to embrace their shortcoming are akin to Tyrion Lannister riding into the battle of Kings Landing. While valiant and absolutely necessary for Tyrion in that particular situation, he learned how unequipped he was for battle.
#2 Actions Speak Louder Than Words
“Any man who says, “I am a king” is no true king.” -Tywin Lannister.
“Words are wind.” Entrepreneurs often declare they are creative, or innovative, or that they “care.” If you have to say those words then it isn’t true. Action is what makes a king; action is what makes a leader.
#3 Build your Organization Around a Central Purpose and Vision
“A Lannister always pays his debts.” The Lannister Family
A central purpose and vision allow each member of an organization to build upon the vision.
Every Lannister knows how important it is to repay the debts acquired. This builds brand equity for those outside of the Lannister family to know what to expect from a Lannister. In doing this, a brand is formed around a central idea. Lannisters for good or ill, will always repay their debts.
#4 Your Employees and Customers are Your Greatest Asset
“They hate you because you act like you’re better than they are” Tyrion Lannister to John Snow
A top-down hierarchy of leadership is archaic. This creates a culture of thinking you are better than your employees, customers, or stakeholders. A culture is defined by the collective value each member has for an organization. How can you add more value to each of your assets?
Create a lateral leadership model focused around collective collaboration, risk taking, growth, openness, and innovation.
#5 Follow Before you Lead
“You want to lead one day? Learn how to follow.” Lord Mormont to John Snow
Entrepreneurs often try to reinvent the wheel.
Being a leader is a vital quality in successful entrepreneurship.
There are many entrepreneurs who are not equipped to accept the challenge of being a leader right away. Find a great leader or a mentor and follow in their footsteps. Learn from them and study their habits, as much as Samwell Tarley studies books.
Your liege-lord requests that you attach this message to a raven and send to your friends.
If you can’t find a raven… then social media will do.