In celebration of the wildly popular Game of Thrones returning to HBO April 6, PADGETT BUSINESS SERVICES® continues its two-part series on the business lessons to be learned from Game of Thrones. [WARNING: this article may contain spoilers.]
Lesson 3: Know Your Business
There is a running theme in Game of Thrones about intelligence gathering. Everyone who has stake in the operation of the Seven Kingdoms has cleverly placed spies, some with more spies than most. One such person is Lord Varys, who is described as being one of the most well-informed individuals in the world. He claims that secrets are his trade, and his reputation for acquiring them makes him seem omniscient. He uses these secrets to defeat his competition and make wise decisions that increase his personal power and financial wealth. A good business does not need to hire a network of spies, but it certainly must know its competitors. In addition, letting your competitors fight each other over trivial features and marketing campaigns can be a benefit to your business. Tyrion Lannister remarked once that your enemies hate each other as much as they hate you. By knowing what they are up to, you can work on making your own product rise above the competition as those business battle it out below.
Lesson 4: Have a Unified Approach
The Seven Kingdoms are stronger when there is no internal fighting, such as when the kingdoms united to overthrow The Mad King. The power of one great united force is much stronger than seven unique small armies. Build your workforce around your brand and make sure each person believes in your product and brand. No matter how talented each member of your company is on an individual scale, a company with employees pulling separate directions will only fall apart.
Lesson 5: Be Just, Play Fair and Show Kindness
This strategy actually did not work out so well for some of the characters in the story, but it is very important in the real world, where marketing wars are waged not over kingdoms, but over customers. In Game of Thrones, betrayal is one of the most despicable actions one can commit. For example, House Frey is known for being treacherous and very few people are willing to make agreements with them, and Jaime Lannister the Kingslayer garners looks of disapproval and scorn wherever he travels. When you do not follow through with your word and so disappoint customers and betray public trust, your company’s reputation will fall, and with it, the company itself. In the words of a Lannister, “The occasional kindness will spare you all sorts of trouble down the road.”
We cannot wait to see what new adventures (and business lessons!) occur in Season Four of Game of Thrones! PADGETT BUSINESS SERVICES® helps small businesses succeed by providing financial services, such as tax preparation and complete payroll solutions.
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