As the final and most anticipated season of Game of Thrones is upon us, many fans find themselves reflecting on past seasons, seeking any possible hint to foreshadow who will end up sitting on the Iron Throne at the very end. Some fans have even gone as far as placing bets on which of the remaining characters will end up ruling the Seven Kingdoms. I have compiled five lessons your business can learn from the Game of Thrones, specifically based on the five characters with the best odds and some of their most renowned quotes from Season 7.
Don’t give up when the going gets tough.
Bran Stark – “Chaos is a ladder.”
Metaphorically speaking, imagine the “chaos” represents everything that is your business – the good, the bad, and everything that happens in between, the different departments that create the foundation of a business and ensuring they are working together and communicating. You can refer back to Ken Cerini’s article “Business Synergy” for a refresher. The climbing of the “ladder” is your journey to your ultimate business goal. What is your mission? Don’t lose sight of it. Remember why your business started in the first place. Ensure that the “chaos” is kept under control via efficient communication and solid leadership. As you climb the ladder, you may advance a few steps, but occasionally you may slip down a step or two, or even fall off completely. Don’t let that derail you. Get up and try again.
Without preparation comes failure.
Jon Snow – “There is only one war that matters. The Great War. And it is here.”
Season 8 will encompass The Great War. This will be one of the main focuses considering it represents the significant fight against the White Walkers and the army of the dead. A few incidents have already occurred where characters went beyond The Wall and they were faced with defeat; let us not forget the heart-wrenching and bone-chilling moment The Night King threw an ice spear that pierced through Viserion, leaving us all mute, jaws to the floor, and butts nearly falling off the edge of our seats. Daenerys flew in with her dragons, unprepared for the worst possible scenario. Just because an opportunity presents itself doesn’t mean go forth without any kind of plan. Foreshadow the future.
Tone at the top is essential.
Sansa Stark – “I’m sure cutting off heads is very satisfying, but that’s not the way you get people to work together.”
The tone at the top is everything in an organization. It sets the attitude that your employees will mirror and it contributes to the foundation of what your business is built on. Lead by example; exercise transparency and honesty, boast integrity, and be ethical. How you treat and view your employees is how your employees will respond to you. If you make your employees feel like they are valuable, they will feel important and needed and will work to obtain the goals of your company. If all you do is cut off people’s heads, like Arya Stark, your employees will feel disposable, and therefore won’t put much value in their position and how they contribute to your organization.
Be proud of your brand.
Jon & Daenerys’ Child – “Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Thoyar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons.”
One of our burning questions that remains: Is Daenerys pregnant? Her many titles are what makes Dany who she is and what she represents. She has made a brand for herself and she’s proud of it. If she can bear children, her offspring will surely be a spectacle of who she is and carry that brand as well. Your business’ brand is its image and how the public views you. Create that brand, be proud of it, and exhume it in all aspects of your business and people will understand you better and want to help you achieve your mission. Start with the physical aspects of your business – the headquarters. The colors, the furniture, the environment – it should all represent your organization’s brand. From there, work on the intangible aspects of the company – your emblem and your social media. Ensure your emblem is a seamless depiction of what your company represents. Sometimes your emblem is the easiest thing for people to remember, so help them remember it. Your social media posts represent all different aspects of your company. It sets the tone of your business in the public eye and it keeps people in the loop on recent happenings and events.
Financial literacy is a necessary evil.
The Night King – “ “
The Night King hasn’t spoken a word, but between his evil and chilling demeanor, deathly stare, and resurrection of Viserion into a Wight Dragon, we all know what his motives are. Finances are the roots of a company. They also don’t speak, but their presentation says a lot to the readers of your financial statements about what has happened in the period that is being presented, as well as forecast what is to come in the foreseeable future. If your company’s finances aren’t healthy, your business cannot stand. You need to be able to understand the finances of your company to prevent your business from failing and make good decisions to incubate a prosperous company.
Who will end up sitting upon The Iron Throne? The anticipation is a killer. Put these five suggestions into fruition in your business and you’ll be sure to fortify your own seat on The Iron Throne.
Crystal is a member of Cerini & Associates’ audit staff where she focuses on serving organizations across a wide spectrum of industries, including nonprofit, technology, and contractor clients. She has experience performing assurance work and outsourced accounting work, as well as preparing tax returns. Crystal has extensive knowledge surrounding the operations, controls, and environment of the sectors she focuses on. She brings her expertise, diversified background, and helpful approach to all of her engagements.