Game of Thrones has become my not-so-guilty-pleasure (I’m sad season 2 just ended last night). For those of you who don’t know, this show is about a number of noble houses who fight to claim their right to the throne. While I’ve never read the books, the TV series has presented some valuable lessons over time.
Some are obvious and some serve as a good reminder. Here are five business lessons that are sure to keep you motivated, whether you’re starting a new business or exploring a new venture:
1. Aim To Be The Best
When you’re pitching your idea to a business executive or a VC, they don’t want to hear that you’re building something “better,” they want to hear that you’re building a product that will be a game changer. This is why you should always aim to be the best, no matter what obstacles come in your way. During a troubling time, Tyrion found success in the discovery of Wildfire, a very disruptive and powerful tool. This turned into a competitive advantage that helped them win at Blackwater. He aimed to be the best.
2. Know Your Competition
Understanding your key competitors is an important business lesson for everyone. You need to make sure your strategy takes these competitors into consideration. This is what will differentiate you from others – if you know what others in your industry are doing, it will make you stronger and help you stay prepared. Even though we don’t have ravens to help us, we have the internet – Use it to your advantage!
3. Turn Weaknesses Into Strengths
One of my favorite characters is Tyrion. He made himself stronger throughout the series and played a key role in strategizing the battle at Blackwater. He turned his weaknesses into strengths. A great quote from the show is:
“Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.” – Tyrion Lannister
Sometimes it’s easier to take a weakness and use it as an excuse. The most successful people win despite any weaknesses. They move forward and demand respect, which leads to success.
4. Build A Strong Network & Team
A key component of the show is building alliances. To gain information, you need a network, consisting of allies, friends and trust. This network can lead you to stronger connections that can help your brand in different ways. Sometimes even a one time acquittance can have an impact. Regardless, look for ways to build a strong network – it’s one of the most important business lessons to succeed. Another key component for success, is having a strong team. Making sure that everyone is on the same page and trusts each other is necessary.
5. Be Prepared
The Stark Motto fits this last business lesson very well: Winter Is Coming. It’s a reminder to always be prepared and understand that life may throw out nasty surprises at you. Regardless of what happens, never give up. If you’re able to prepare yourself for any contingencies, then you’ll be able to fight any storm that comes your way.
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