We have closed seven seasons of the hit show Game of Thrones, and if you’re an entrepreneur there are some key lessons to learn from how the characters play their parts. Now that we are in the tail end of the story and waiting upwards of two years to finally get some closure, let’s look back at the last six years for teachable moments that can help you claim your own Iron Throne.
Lesson #1: Be ready to put in the work.
While it would seem like a no-brainer to just show up with your 3 fire breathing dragons, Daenerys Targaryen had to be flexible with how she navigates her journey to the top.
Teachable moment: Don’t assume success is guaranteed because you have a game-changing competitive edge. You will still need to pay your dues and put in the hours. We needed six full seasons to see the Khalessi’s dragons be the dragons we need them to be and you will need time to reach your full potential as well.
Lesson #2: Plan for the long game.
Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger, has always been several steps ahead of his peers. This has been his survival tactic and had served him well.
Teachable moment: Take a course, or two, in behavioral psychology so that you can leverage emotional triggers to engage your audience into taking action. Just in case it needs to be said, avoid blackmailing adversaries no matter how tempting it may seem. Karma is real – as Littlefinger learned.
Lesson #3: Form the right alliances.
No one could have seen the attacks on the Tyrell and Dorne troops coming but it goes to show that aligning yourself with key allies is critical for success.
Teachable moment: Seek out those who complement your skills so that you have partnerships with those who can balance your weakness. We saw how Sansa had to compromise with the creepy Littlefinger who was in love with her mother (and then Sansa herself), all because his vast army could save her brother, but in the end, Sansa came out on top.
Lesson #4: Have a compelling story.
It’s unheard of for a “bastard” to lead as a King, yet there we have Jon Snow serving as King of the North. His rise to the top has the most awe-inspiring story that even the Mother of Dragons was impressed.
Teachable moment: We are emotional beings and having the storytelling skills to captivate your audience’s attention is your competitive edge. Bonus points if you can sprinkle your story with tales of taking down a white walker.
Lesson #5: Be agile.
Sometimes the most well laid plans don’t go as expected. Just ask Arya Stark, Tyrion Lannister, Bronn, and Melisandre. Being able to think on your feet and adjust your hustle mid-game is the difference between living to play the game for one more day or having your head on a spike.
Teachable moment: Don’t get attached to the how. Pivoting your business is something many, if not most, entrepreneurs will have to do at least once in their lifetime. Don’t be afraid to shift if it means saving your vision. If you have to put on different faces and call yourself “no one” in order to make things happen, don’t hesitate to do so.