30th April 2019
by Charlotte Wilson
Game Of Thrones, thoughts
If you thought you were going to make it through the final season of Game of Thrones without us trying to shoe-horn in a blog post laced with references to it, then you’ve come to the wrong place…
*Spoiler alert – if you are one of those shouty people who have never watched Game of Thrones, yet also do not want to know any plot reveals in case you cave one day and decide to watch it, then please stop reading now. For all the other sane people out there, as you were…
If you’re fresh from the emotional roller-coaster that was the Battle for Winterfell last night, then you’re probably SHOOK from the cold winds of winter that had our favourite characters shivering in their faux-fur capes, but alas, the sun is shining outside of Westeros this morning and all is well …
So, let’s stay positive and embrace the emergence of springtime and the, hopefully, sunny few months ahead where the days get longer, the nights get shorter, and we all wish we hadn’t eaten quite so much chocolate in preparation for the warmer climes.
But enough of all that, eat the chocolate, sup the wine, ride your dragons, whatever makes you happy really, because guess what? We’ve discovered that there is a lot that GoT can teach us about employee engagement, so sit back, relax and fill up your goblet…
Lesson 1: The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword…
Aw, dear honourable Ned Stark, brooding, hunky and kinda dumb – but alas, still full of little chestnuts of wisdom like the one above.
The Starks are renowned for their sense of duty and honour and are stoic in their commitment to leading by example. Now whilst this may not have worked out quite so well for some of them, leading by example did inspire unwavering loyalty in their followers, something which is key to a cohesive, successful workforce.
Whilst no one actually needs to swing a sword across peoples necks these days in order to make a point, leading by example never does go out of style. If you want to engage employees and attract premium talent you need to demonstrate that your company embraces authenticity and transparency. Do this, and you should last a few more seasons longer than dear old Ned.
Lesson 2: Winter is coming…
When we first hear this motto from house Stark, it sounds a bit weird and really not at all helpful to apply to everyday life. However, older, wiser, and more battle hardened as we are these days ‘Winter is coming’ is a reminder that no matter how good the summer/good times are, winter and all the bad things that come with it, are never far away.
Morbid as it may sound, it is always wise to be prepared. So it is important to ensure that your employees and company are prepared for the future, no matter the weather, which is always very important for maintaining positive employee engagement.
When you create a culture that embraces transparency from the top down, it helps people to feel included, shows that you respect them and helps to boost morale for when the proverbial Night King comes to mess things up.
Lesson 3: Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no can use them against you…
If you’re looking for any quote to get you through the day, then the author of the one above, Tyrion Lannister, is definitely your go-to guy. Personally, I’m probably going to get ‘That’s what I do: I drink and I know things’ tattooed on me one day, but that’s a different story for another time.
Tyrion has spent his entire life-span surviving on his wit and intellect, despite suffering a lifetime of ridicule and cruelty at the hands of those closest to him. So, he overcame his perceived flaws by taking ownership of them. Remember when he told the number 1 babe of Winterfell, Jon Snow, to wear his status as a bastard like armour because ‘then it can never be used to hurt you’? Iconic. Simply iconic.
Well, the same goes for your company and staff. If you own your unique culture and embrace what might look like flaws, and encourage your staff to do the same, your self-awareness can become your biggest strength. This way you’ll better attract the right people for the company and the best clients that will likely stay for the long haul because they appreciate your integrity and have realistic expectations of success.
Lesson 4: A Lannister always pays his debts…
Ruthless, cruel, vindictive, just a few of the lovely adjectives some might choose to describe house Lannister. However, despite their distasteful habit for not playing by the rules, or well with others, they do have one redeeming quality – a dedication to repaying their debts.
Ok ok, for Cersei this exclusively takes the form of death and torture, but for those of us in the real world, ensuring you pay your dues is actually a powerful cornerstone of success.
When people contribute positively to your company or business, reward them, even if it’s just by saying thank you. Gratitude and recognition can go a long way in improving your company culture and can encourage improved productivity and staff retention.
Lesson 5: Not today…
Even more poignant following last nights episode (YASS AYRA YOU ABOLSUTE TINY WARRIOR QUEEN ASSASAIN BADDASS) but also an important element for us all to remember.
To give the quote it’s full context it goes something like this, someone’s about to get murdered / give up on life until some super mysterious, sultry deadly-magician says ‘What do we say to the God of death?’ and said person says ‘Not today b**ch!!’ and they go and kick some butt and save the world.
Ok, I made up the expletive part, but it sounded better.
So, when things aren’t going so well at work, maybe it’s a particularly stressful morning, everyone appears to be in a bad mood, or clients are simply losing their minds and screaming blue murder at you, just take a breath and say ‘Not today.’ Because, unlike most of our favourite GoT characters, life goes on, bad days happen and they really, really don’t have to last forever – so don’t let it break you. Not today.
Ok. That’s enough Game of Thrones themed employee engagement chat for one day, but if you’d like to talk to us some more about your own fan theories (I jest I jest) or more importantly, your next project, then please do get in touch today, we’d love to help.
And if you really don’t like GoT? Don’t worry, there’s only like 3 weeks left of references before we all have to go into therapy after the finale.