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Game of thrones and parallels in modern leadership

In Season 1- Episode 9 of the “Game of Thrones” series, King Joffrey orders beheading Lord Stark – a public execution which was essentially justice met out by a young adolescent and more importantly the final decision taken by the one in absolute power.

This is just one of the many instances in the series where the rationality, thought and judgement of the leader is unquestioned. While a work of fiction, this medieval fantasy is a beautiful and accurate representation of the ways of the current world. We may not be defending the cities we live in with great walls or killing for pleasure but the underlying brutality, cunning and caution in each of us remains. The world is a bubbling pot where each day is another in the long line of struggle to dominate and an endless game in one’s defense as one aspires for superiority.

Corporations are most often built and nurtured by the capable but sometimes leadership falls in the hands of the unfit like the insane King Aerys or the King after who was a drunkard, such phases in an organization are either abrupt endings or the beginning of the rot. While it may initially appear that such leadership has no visible negative  impact, the illusion is not the success of the leader but rather the residual flourish that buds from the sheer strength of those not holding the throne. It is during these times that the essence of leadership and it’s duty of  keeping the organisation strong would have begun to fail as questions would be raised on the individuals  power and authority. Ineffective leadership no longer portrays a symbol of authority, longevity or positive effect thus ensuring that the organisations glory is no longer sustainable.

Perhaps the mad and drunk kings of the corporate world are driven to the illusion that they are revered and loved with the utmost loyalty and their belief is further fueled by those that worship their false charisma for reasons of self interest.

The virtues of real power and real leadership may not be lost in the kingdoms of the new world, this great honour still lies with those that are deserving – with those that poccess intelligence, lateral thinking, stealth, calm, rational thought, a firm grip on their greatest positives and a absolute understanding of their biggest flaws. In a perfect world these people would rise and get their due rights of power and command. However, expecting that all in life is a consequence of fair play would be allowing oneself the fantasy straight from a child’s imagination – the rise or continuity of leadership is sadly governed by the whims of those already in power and once the rot has set in, expecting fairness would be a folly most unforgivable if you wish to attain superiority.

The walls that protect the realms and the leaders who protect the best interests of their ‘people’ are not just those who are strong, intelligent and the most enthusiastic but rather those that are in addition to all the above true believers and bringers of positive change and nurturing with the sole intent of providing services to the best (and beyond) of their capabilities.

The finest leader, who is truly hailed for his absolute power is not the one that terrorizes people or possess great secrets, or the one who uses sly and cunning but the one who truly believes in his duty while never undermining his own strength.

Lessons on leadership and lessons on the art of winning can be derived from every episode of the series. Through the ages that fact remains  that when it comes to power play the rules of the game remain mostly unchanged and driven by laws that are best understood and played.

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