Leadership Lessons from Game of Thrones

by Rachel Anevski, MAOB, PHR, SHRM-CP, founder and CEO of Matters of Management, LLC | May 2, 2019

I have to admit that I wasn't always a Game of Thrones Fan. In fact, I just began watching a few months ago. It took three attempts to make it to the end of Season 1 Episode 1 but I'm glad I did, and now like millions everywhere I count the minutes to Sunday at 9 p.m.

One of the many reasons I love GOT is the variety of leadership styles. From directive to intuitive, steady to conscientious, it is as though the writers took a DISC analysis handbook and said go with it. You can easily identify who will emerge as a leader and how their decisions will affect their houses. I also love that many of the main characters are females in leadership positions. We always need more of these.

My favorite moment came recently in Season 8 (spoiler alert) from the dragon queen when she explains to her "hand" (the hand of the queen), that he should not fight in the war. She reminds him that there are many that can fight better than him, but few that have his intellect. In business we often are challenged with having to tell our best employees what they are not equipped to handle while also reminding them why they have been chosen. The Hand of the King is appointed by royal decree to execute the king's command. If the king is absent or indisposed, the Hand makes decisions in his place. As an example of this they say, "What the king dreams, the hand builds."

In business every great leader or decision maker needs a strong second. This is different than a successor. Appropriately called "hand", this person does the things you cannot do and should not do. If a leader is the director than the "hand" is the steady that gets it done. Having great leaders are imperative but the first follower is key in carrying out tasks to completion.

So, who is your "Hand of the King?"

Reprinted with permission from Matters of Management, LLC.

Rachel L. Anevski

Rachel L. Anevski

Rachel Anevski, MAOB, PHR, SHRM-CP, is the founder and CEO of Matters of Management, LLC, a consulting and talent acquisition firm specializing in professional services. Matters of Management is an NJCPA business services provider. Learn more at njcpa.org/benefits.

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