Leadership is central part of Game of Thrones. Alliances, pitched battles and other more intimate and collected places, the book series and television shows through almost all his characters, how important is knowing how to manage people, conflicts, situations and even yourself. George R.R. Martin shows us masterfully different types of leadership applicable to the company and to life.
In this post we will study some characters and how they carry their burden of leadership. Spoiler alert!
And remember: “In the bussines game, you lead or you die”
For many of us he was the protagonist of the serie and he suffered one of the most dire (perhaps unexpectedly and for being the first) deaths, repeats a phrase that explains very well his leadership: the man who dictates the sentence should swing the sword.
That´s how Lord Eddard leads through example and taking responsibility. His honor (being close friend of the King) leads him to occupy one of the most important positions of the West ; and it assumes , as we have said so far ahead with the truth , accepting responsibility over what he wants and displaying his honor. A clear example of how a leader should act. Of course, the final can provoke us questions…
After his father´s death, the character brilliantly played by Jack Gleeson ascends with the iron throne. That is, he becomes king and the most important person in all of West.
Sadistic, dictatorial, selfish and individualistic, Joffrey exemplifies the hierarchical leadership. No hint of the quality we mentioned, the little king knows what position does and what rights granted (duties should not remember) and squeezes all the juice despite the hatred and fear that has the rest of the seven kingdoms. Joffrey, as in the scene starring his mother and Meñique that we see in this video, you know that power is power. And he don´t forget it. (See video here)
At the beginning of the saga we find a girl of illustrious name but is in poor condition. Persecuted, at the will of his sadistic brother she is forced to marry with a barbarian. Daenerys is very clear what your goal: the iron throne, the whole thing. To all? No, it is not worth anything. People and their freedom are ahead, and take this as an opportunity to meet her goal. He knows that if it respects and helps your people (who call her Mother), they will eventually take the throne. Starting from scratch with few Dothraki but with three dragons, gradually form a large army of former slaves and soldiers who give their lives for her.
A deformed dwarf, hated by most of his family and ridiculed by the people, can be a leader? Yes, it is. Tyrion can not use force to lead, he can not even use nature of Lannister. He can not use any visible power and constant taunts to his person (gnome, half man… ) should send him toward the dark corner.
But Tyirion has something else that is perhaps more valuable than all of the above. Tyrion knows who and what is (memorable dialogue with Jon Snow) and sharpens his mind by reading books, as he say. Mental acuity, overview, knowing the role of everyone and oratorical capacity out of the ordinary, the deformed dwarf saves King’s Landing saves an insured loss to Stannis Baratheon. A clear example of effective leadership. Too bad that neither wished him well…
Jon Snow, bastard of Winterfell , grows well in a hostile environment represented by Catelyn Stark. Still, he is able to gain the trust of his brothers and members of Winterfell. Subsequently, situating already on the wall and on the skin of the little bastard (15 years in books, some more in the series), is in a strongly hierarchical and composite organization, mostly for petty thieves and rapists who did not want dead. He, who despite their name comes from highborn, is almost as hated as Tyrion.
What happens then? Why is he here? That´s because he knows how to fight and train their peers in the swordplay. Because, beyond the Wall, must bear responsibility Media Mano gives to infiltrate the Savages, because it looks to Mance Rayder in the eye and because, in the battle between the Guard at night and Wild, takes the reins and leads his people to victory. This, coupled with the insight of his friend Sam, will make him the youngest captain in history. Natural leadership, or “position does the leader, but the leader makes the position.” Unfortunately the shadow of his father weighs too much and is not able to see what was going on around him…
Drogo is the leader of the Dothraki , a tribe of barbarians. And there is nothing that can lead more and more to a tribe so strength and skill in battle.
Drogo is the strongest one, best fight and dominates each and every one of the members of his team. Drogo leads to own, perhaps excessively, the most necessary qualities of the Dothraki. So much so that it has never lost a battle. Agresive, overwhelming and determined (to be asked to Viserys), Khal Drogo is only tamed by the charms of a girl younger than him.
The problem comes when the individual claims are put above the target.
When he receives the news of the death of his father, the young Robb (16 years in the books ) she decides to take revenge. Using your name , your natural charm and an unusual relational ease, creates around himself an army that will fight together for a common goal, revenge north. But it is not so easy, his age makes doubt vassals. And that´s when Robb should make clear its position. (See video here)
For much of the plot, Robb is the definition of a leader par excellence, has a clear goal, knows how to get it, followed yours and win battles. Until Matarreyes himself falls into their hands, Robb making one of the best strategists in the West. The problem comes when you put your individual claims above the common goal and what was necessary to achieve it. We all know that all ends with the rains of Castarmere ringing.
There are many more examples. We stay in the big inkwell or nefarious leaders like Stannis Baratheon, Mance Rayder or two of the intelligences of the West: Meñique and Lord Varys , but a variety show exposed how to lead… or how not to.
What other examples of leadership in fiction do you know?