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Get THAT Promotion: Corporate Lessons from Game of Thrones

Business Communication 6th February 2017 Sonali Chakraborty

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Game of Thrones, the super hit HBO TV series known for its adrenaline-inducing scenes, rich characters and mindless killings and plotted revenge. But, did you know that within the whirlwind of drama, action and emotions lie valuable tips for professionals who are looking to get promoted? Here are 5 corporate lessons from Game of Thrones for all those eyeing for promotion and to climb the ladder of success at work:

Never stop learning

In the Game of Thrones, King Robert’s character is that of an unstable king who falls victim to plotting and trickery against him. Although once a fierce warrior who was highly ambitious, he gets too comfortable in his position as on the Iron Throne and becomes complacent in learning new ways of reigning over the seven kingdoms with strength.
To get that promotion, never stop yourself from learning about fresh approaches on how to get better at the work you do. Never take your eyes off the prize, which is, moving to the next level and always work on improving yourself.

Related: Benefits of Reverse Mentoring

Stick to your professional commitments

One of the famed dialogues in GoT by Tyrion Lannister, “A Lannister always pays his debts”, hides behind it an invaluable corporate lesson for professionals seeking that promotion – always stick to your word. When you promise things at the workplace and do not deliver, it breeds a feeling of distrust and disrespect around you. Remember your seniors and bosses watch every step you take. You are being continually assessed so you must naturally work hard to earn that promotion. Bottom line: when you say that you are going to do something, do it!

Bottom line: when you say that you are going to do something, do it!

Related: 5 Professional Ethics To Follow At Workplace

Charter unknown territories at work

In this intriguing series of wars, the Dothrakis could have been formidable opponents. However, the Starks and Lannisters are not afraid of them. The reason? Easy to guess: everybody knows that the Dothraki are scared of the sea. This fear renders them powerless and unable to expand their dominion.

To earn a promotion, you have to step out of your comfort zone. This will help you become more adaptable to facing challenges and difficult situations at work. Do not worry about shaking things up and getting innovative at the workplace. If you have requisite skills where you think you can do your best then volunteer for it. Show your willingness to grow and get your hard work noticed. You don’t have to checkmate other colleagues for this. If they are willing to take your help then jump to their call. Even if your ideas are not accepted you will have shown your interest and potential and value to your organisation. This can only help you the next time there is a scope for promotion. After all, “fortune favours the brave”.

Related: 6 Reasons You Need Mental Strength At Work

Design room for the unexpected

You keep hearing the Starks say “Winter is coming” in GoT. Throughout the five seasons, the Starks strive to keep themselves prepared for any kind of eventualities. In today’s dynamic professional set up, one needs to remain vigilant and prepared for the unexpected. Professionals who stay strong in the face of change and plan for the future are likely to be promoted. Learn to embrace ‘winter’, especially when professionals around you are unfocussed and basking in the sun. Tthis is perhaps one of the most important corporate lessons from Game of Thrones.

Related: Pursuit of Goals: What You Can Learn About Swimming Against the Tide

Master the art of influencing

Varys, a spymaster to the king, explains how he was once a beggar but with his influencing skills and cunning rose to prominence. To what? Well,, straight to a position in the Small Council. Cultivate your influence over time. In today’s interdependent organizational framework where teamwork matters substantially, power lies with those professionals who have the ability to influence and get things done outside of traditional reporting lines. You get noticed as the person who senior management can depend upon to bring forward organizational developments.

Related: Tried-And-Tested Measures to Master the Art of Persuasion

As of now, the day and time we are living in, promotions are difficult to get. Today, professionals need to create and manage their own career paths. However, simply showing up on time each day and doing your job isn’t always enough. Position yourself as an invaluable asset to the company. Exhibit qualities that you can learn from Game of Thrones, and you will be one step closer to that promotion you have been dreaming of.

What other corporate lessons from Game Of Thrones have you been able to identify?


A version of this article appeared in People Matters.

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