Channeling Game of Thrones Queens at Work
The 2017 season of Game of Thrones just wrapped up proving, if anything, that women can do it all. While the male characters have been down in the trenches, going beyond the wall, and battling wights all season, the women have been ruling. Over the course of the past seven seasons, we’ve seen women put in a variety of roles both gritty and sensual, powerful and weak. But season 7 ends definitively with three female rulers determined to work together and face the Night King. Watching GoT isn’t just about escaping into fantasy worlds where dragons reign and magic is real, we can also learn a lot from these leading ladies about how we handle challenges in our lives and at work. Read more to learn how you can channel the three baddest GoT ladies in your office.
Sansa and Stepping Up
When Jon has to leave Winterfell in episode 3 of season 7, Sansa is tasked with ruling in his absence. The prospect of decision making is appealing to Sansa—so much so that she’s reprimanded by her brother for arguing against him in front of their bannermen. However, when the opportunity comes for her to truly be in charge, she feels nervous about her changing role. Still she steps up to the plate, bringing her grace and perspective to bear.
Stepping up isn’t simply about filling a gap or inefficiency in the office. It’s also about sharing your unique skill set and perspective. Strategize how you personally fit best in the role and use your abilities to demonstrate to superiors and peers your willingness to help out and be versatile. If your office or business asks someone to lead a project or plan an event, step up, but make room for others to have their sway too. Taking this chance also means you get to share a little bit of your creative side, something that can be challenging in some office environments. You too can be the Sansa Stark of your office by participating when someone’s needed and bringing your creative and intellectual flair to the role.
Danaerys and Taking Initiative
Danaerys Targaryen doesn’t mince words about her expectations of people and she’s not afraid to lead. One of the most crucial traits you can learn from Danaerys (and apply to your experiences at work) is how to take initiative. Some, like Sansa, wait for a need to present itself before stepping up, whereas Danaerys is always looking for inefficiencies in her world to solve. Whether she’s fighting slavery or flying her dragons to Jon Snow’s aid, it’s clear that Danaerys is confident and focused, and also always thinking of the collective, not just herself.
You can merge Danaerys’ strengths in your office several ways. Whether it’s taking the time to organize an office wide party or excursion, helping your project team find success, or just firing up the morning coffee, taking initiative to help as many people you can in your office environment is a true hallmark of strong leadership.
Cersei and Holding Your Ground
One thing that’s clear about Cersei, at least up until the final episode of season 7, is that the only way she’s leaving the South is over her own dead body. Time and time again, Cersei ignores her advisors and does what she believes to be the best for the nation and for her family, whether that’s exploding the citadel or murdering Robb Stark at his own wedding.
In the office environment, it can be easy to acquiesce to other coworkers or superiors, but what you can learn from Cersei is how to hold your ground when you’re confident you have a good idea. For example, if your company is pursuing a vendor relationship with another company that you don’t think is a good fit, instead of going with the majority, take the time to make your position clear. Watch out not to alienate and offend your supervisors, however. We can’t all be as powerful and convincing as the Lion Queen.
We can also learn the flip side of this skill from observing Cersei: learning when to admit you’re wrong. One of the best twists of the 7th season of GoT (besides the obvious: Jon’s true lineage!) is how Cersei recognizes that staying in the South might not be the best idea for her family and her people. From there, she admits she was wrong and gears up to fight the Army of the Dead alongside her enemies for the sake of mankind.
Growing and leading in your office doesn’t mean you have to change everything at once. Taking a cue from one of these leading ladies in how you navigate a conversation or interact with a superior is a great start to standing apart from others in your office. We might not be able to be dragon riding fire queens, but we can certainly learn from them.
How have you demonstrated leadership in your office? Share your stories and ideas in the comments below! We’d love to grow this resource.