Posted by Robert Half on 09 April 2015
As any 'Game of Thrones' fan will know, winter is coming in Westeros. Tough times are ahead and it's going to require a strong monarch on the Iron Throne. As the various Houses set their sights on King's Landing, who is fit to wear the crown and protect the realm? Do you have faith in the Lannisters? Are you rooting for a Stark comeback? Or would you have the Targaryen dragons in the Crownlands?
In many ways, the battle for supremacy in the Seven Kingdoms is like the competition for leadership jobs in business. Whenever senior roles arise, there will always be interest from a range of different people - each with their own leadership styles, skills, personality and motivations. The hiring manager must assess the needs of the organisation or ‘realm’, weigh up each individual's strengths and then choose which ‘Game of Thrones’ character would make the best leader.
Hypothetically, if a senior business role was up for grabs in the Seven Kingdoms, which Game of Thrones character has the best leadership style and would make the best candidate? Here is our take:
Young King Tommen has many of the attributes of a successful leader. Unlike his ruthless, reckless ex-sibling Joffrey, he appears wise, thoughtful and modest. However, age counts against him; Tommen is too young to take charge of his armies and rule without the shadowy influences in the background. There's also a certain naivety evident, which stems from his sheltered upbringing as a prince never intended to take the throne. With strong leadership required, Tommen isn't quite ready for the job.
Verdict: Despite his potential, this looks like a job too soon.
Ser Jaime Lannister - a member of the Kingsguard from House Lannister - has the looks, charm and intelligence, and an obvious sense of duty. But despite his skills, personality and powerful backing from Casterly Rock, he is a conflicted character. In short, there are just too many skeletons in the cupboard. This is the 'Kingslayer' after all - can he be trusted in a leadership role? Faced with an under-performing colleague, he may take matters into his own hands.
Verdict: Very capable individual, but too much of a risk.
In the early part of his career, the 'King in the North' showed himself to be a great motivator who could lead by example and achieve results - some of the desired leader traits. However, a failure to keep his promises and a shortage of ideas let him down in the end. He failed to see both sides of the coin and then made bad decisions. But this is all academic - Robb's job application has been withdrawn.
Verdict: Showed potential to be a great leader but ultimately lost his head.
Stanis believes he has what it takes to be a great leader, but is he as strong as he thinks? He has a vision and faith in his own ability, yet relies too much on the influence of others... and the dark arts. Surrounded by a strong team, he could prove to be an effective figurehead. But the power of personality isn't there, so employees will never love him.
Verdict: Some strengths, some weaknesses; a middle of the road candidate.
Educated, beautiful and commercially aware, Margaery is - on the face of things - a deeply impressive individual. Ever-graceful, she always puts on a great show, displaying warmth and empathy for colleagues at all levels. Yet this young lady is ruthlessly ambitious and knows exactly how to get what she wants. She displays many of the characteristics of a job-hopper - the type who will perform well for a short while, but then move on in search of a greater prize.
Verdict: Credible candidate, but unlikely to be a long term asset for any employer.
Employing the 'Mother of Dragons' could certainly shake things up a little. Daenerys shows an appetite for making the big decisions and has strong people management skills. She's also a quick learner who can think on her feet. If employers are looking for a disrupter who can get things back on track, Daenerys may be the one for the job. But she has a ruthless streak; there's no room for compromise. Unless she has total autonomy, it isn't going to work.
Verdict: Has talent but is a maverick; will prove difficult to work with.
If employers are looking for someone with strong skills and experience, gallons of potential and natural leadership skills, Jon Snow is their man. He isn't perfect by any means, but he's highly trained, adaptable and, as a member of the Night's Watch, is used to working in adverse conditions. Jon gets the job done without any sense of ego or entitlement, encouraging others to buy into the overall mission, culture and goals. In many ways he is a star in the making.
Verdict: Jon Snow shows many of the leadership styles associated with great business leaders.
While we are talking hypothetically about which ‘Game of Thrones’ character would make the best leader, it’s important for all candidates to improve their leadership and management skills.