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7 Leaderships Styles – What Game of Thrones Leader are you?

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The fantasy medieval HBO series, Game of Thrones has become well known for its controversial themes. Kings, queens, knights and rebels all play a deadly game to gain control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and sit upon the Iron Throne. 

8 years later and it's safe to say the series would be nothing without its leaders and just like the real world, these leaders come in all shapes and sizes. We have listed 7 different leadership styles portrayed in Game of Thrones.

Are you any of these leaders? If not, maybe you’ve worked with one? Maybe you know a Cersei or a Jon Snow?


Autocratic Leadership

An autocratic leader is one who dictates all policies and procedures. Employees and team members have no say whatsoever in how things are done and are expected to follow the command and control of the leader. Cersei Lannister would be classed as this type of leader. She decides the rules and demands that everyone follow her ways.



Democratic Leadership

This type of leader is one that takes on board what other people have to say. A democratic leader allows and even encourages others to participate in decision making. Davos Seaworth is this kind of leader. He displays effective listening and sharing. He is also great at building teams which can be seen in his collaboration with Jon Snow (or Aegon Targaryen).



Coaching Leadership

This leadership style is about helping others to improve themselves and achieve their goals. They are there to provide guidance and counsel. This leadership style can only work if the follower is open to being advised. This style can be seen between Tyrion Lannister and his relationship with Daenerys Targaryen. He provides her with knowledge and guidance when she seeks it. He is well respected, and his advice is highly regarded.


Charismatic Leadership

A charismatic leader is one often adored by their followers. Their undoubtable charisma and personality may lead people to follow their every word. They can be sometimes viewed as manipulative because their intentions may be often self-focused. Jamie Lannister portrays this style of leadership. His family name automatically gave him status, however his charm, fighting ability and good looks made him a charismatic leader.


Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is where a leader works with teams to identify a change that is needed, creates a vision and then guides their followers by inspiring them. This can be no one other than Daenerys Targaryen. On her relentless mission to rule the seven kingdoms, she uprooted long standing and outdated traditions to achieve her vision of a just and fair world for all. She freed slaves in Astapor, Yunkai and Mareen, freeing all unsullied while gaining their allegiance.


Laissez-Faire Leadership

This leadership style gives employees complete free reign with little or no supervision. This is very like Sansa Stark’s leadership style in season 7 when she ruled the North in Jon Snow’s absence. Sansa was preoccupied with her reuniting her divided Stark family while keeping a close eye on the cunning Littlefinger. Sansa did very little of her own ruling,  seeking refuge in John’s commands.


Affiliative Leadership

An affiliative leader promotes harmony among his or her followers and helps to resolve any conflict. This type of leader will also build teams and ensure their followers feel connected to one other. John Snow encapsulates this form of leadership. He created once unthinkable alliances putting himself in the firing line to ensure all conflict was resolved. John’s only concern is others and he does his best for everyone while ensuring everything is communicated correctly so everyone understands his rulings and makes sure they feel heard.

Let us know what leaders you've come across in your working life.

Posted by Clare Reynolds on 25 April 2019

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