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7 Things Game of Thrones Taught Me About Leadership

7 Things Game of Thrones Taught Me About Leadership

HBO’s Game of Thrones, a television show based on George R.R. Martin’s acclaimed novels entitled A Song of Ice and Fire, has become a cultural phenomenon. Although originally intended for adults, even young ones just can’t help to watch this show. Game of Thrones has obtained a range of active international fan base worldwide and has received popular recognition from various critics. Game of Thrones is not just a thrilling story. Yes, it has epic fight scenes, thought-provoking dialogues, intriguing characters with complicated and complex personalities, and compelling plot, but it is more than that. The show runs deeper than your typical fantasy escapism. It is arguably one of the wittiest and most distinct shows in television, which can make its audience wonder of what’s going on at all. The Game of Thrones universe is full of life lessons. This show encompass a lot of betrayals, deceits, and ruling power, but it will also teach you more about life, relationships, and, of course leadership. This series will show you how to rule a kingdom or, in our reality, how to become an effective leader. Here are a few valuable leadership lessons from the best and the worst leaders of Westeros.

1.  Trust with Caution

Be careful in choosing who you trust. In Game of Thrones, the audience is deliberately told not to trust anyone or risk getting killed. Though you may not risk being murdered, this is a good reminder to trust with caution. Do not give too much information to people you barely know, especially when it comes to managing or leading a company. However, trust is one of the keys to organizational and better performance. No one can lead a team without trusting anybody. So, as a leader, identify whom you should trust and how you can gain the trust of others in order to reach your goals.

“I swear to you, sitting in a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one.” – Robert Baratheon

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    2.  Lead by Example

    Ned Stark is known for being an honorable and just man in Game of Thrones. His character is one good example of being an effective leader. He always means what he says and does what he means. Ned puts his swords to his words and doesn’t stay out of duty, no matter how unpleasant it could be. A true leader is someone who can be a role model in all aspects. You must be accountable and must embody the values you want others to follow. Remember, they are watching you so you should exemplify the best. Take responsibility and inspire greatness to those you lead.

    “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.”- Eddard “Ned” Stark

    ned-stark-quote

      3. Discover Your Strength

      Tyrion Lannister might be small in stature, but he is known for being good at ruling behind the scenes. His fascinating ability to see everything in a different perspective is what makes him one of the best characters in the show. Though he had been humiliated throughout his life, he makes up for it in his wit and intelligence. Tyrion is driven by nothing other than his strengths and will to survive his own reality. As a leader, Tyrion should inspire you to discover your strengths and use them to achieve your goals. By understanding your strengths, you can focus on what you are good at and you can further develop your skills to become more effective in leading people.

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      “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”- Tyrion Lannister

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        4. Stand Firm in Your Convictions

        The manipulative, brilliant strategist and stoic commander, Tywin Lannister, urges you to stand firm in your convictions. He is known for his unfettered and dominant attitude to ensure that the Lannister legacy lives on. He rules based on what he thinks is right and never allow anyone to deter his decisions. More often than not, leaders are either making decisions with other people or their decision impacts others. Being a leader you are bound to make decisions for the good of all and not only for yourself. Learn how to stand firm in your convictions. Do not let the personal choices of others make you doubt on your own.

        “The lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinion of a sheep.”- Tywin Lannister

        tywin-lannister

           5. Know Your Worth

          Daenerys, the mother of dragons, knows exactly what she deserves and what she dreamed of. Despite the struggles she has overcome, Daenerys never underestimated herself. She has no training in commanding an army, but she gained confidence and strength to lead the Dothraki people after realizing her worth. As a leader you have to practice believing in yourself so others will trust you. Never underestimate the things that you can and cannot do as you lead people. Show what you can do and become better at it. Just like Daenerys, know how extraordinary you are and don’t undervalue your worth. You are a leader so stand with conviction and act like one.

          “I’m no ordinary woman. My dreams come true.” – Daenerys Targaryen

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          daenerys

            6. Take Command

            In the fourth season of Game of Thrones, Jon Snow has proven his leadership skill. Snow is wise, compassionate, and a natural leader. Using his natural leadership, he led the Night’s Watch in battle against the wildlings and successfully holds the Wall against overwhelming odds. Taking command is having the authority to direct people into strategic position. As a leader know how to guide others into action and not coerce them. Engage and energize the workforce through motivating them and earning their trust. Once you trust your people you can establish command by supporting behaviors that bring good results.

            “I’m the watcher on The Wall.” – Jon Snow

            Jon

              7. Increase Your Knowledge

              Petyr Baelish comes from humble origin, but because of his skills and knowledge on how to connect with people, he became one of the most powerful officials in the Seven Kingdoms. Knowledge is important in becoming a leader. Knowledge brings respect. If you are knowledgeable in leading people, it is easier for you to earn respect and trust from others.

              “Knowledge is power”- Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish

              Baelish

                Featured photo credit: Chess Metaphor Board Business Concepts Game Pawn/PublicDomainPictures via pixabay.com

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                Last Updated on January 6, 2021

                14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

                In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

                For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

                For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

                Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

                Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

                Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

                How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

                Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

                1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

                Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

                For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

                2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

                Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

                Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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                Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

                3. Create a System

                Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

                This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

                You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

                Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

                Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

                4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

                We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

                If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

                Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

                Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

                5. Use a Ratings Scale

                Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

                Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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                It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

                6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

                This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

                You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

                You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

                7. Offer Feedback Forms

                Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

                First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

                Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

                You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                8. Track Cost Effectiveness

                This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

                Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

                Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

                9. Use Self-Evaluations

                Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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                Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

                10. Monitor Time Management

                This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

                Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

                  The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

                  While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                  11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

                  We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

                  Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

                  For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

                  Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

                  Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

                  From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

                  12. Utilize Peer Feedback

                  This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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                  Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

                  Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

                  It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

                  13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

                  When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

                  Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

                  Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

                  14. Use an External Evaluator

                  Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

                  They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

                  While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

                  Final Thoughts

                  These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

                  The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

                  The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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                  Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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