Management succession done well is an objective exercise. And it puts the needs of the organisation on a par with individual aspiration. Leaning too far in either direction will inhibit progress and can negatively impact long-term business success.
Having watched every season of Game of Thrones on TV, I find it hard to fathom why the noble families of the Kingdom of Westeros continue to fight for control of the Iron Throne.
I understand that power, influence and prestige are involved and ultimately wealth – or is that in fact the case?
The throne comes with a massive debt attached; history would suggest that the King get’s killed at some point and many of their loyal subjects are sacrificed in the process of winning the royal seat.
In addition, a ruler has to leave their kingdom – which may be functioning well – whilst they spend months in a foreign land trying to acquire more territory. The people left behind are already loyal to you and your family (assuming you’re a good leader of course) whereas the people in the territories you’re trying to conquer have no allegiance to you at all.
So, why would you want to be on the Iron Throne?
Let’s face it; you’re never going to rule the Seven Kingdoms. The Horse People don’t care – you have no power in their eyes and they are never going to be led. The other Kingdoms are all factions, jostling for power themselves.
You’d end up completely exposed to the threat of the next would be ruler; and there’s no protection at King’s Landing and no army to keep you safe.
Whilst striving for dominance, it would appear that none of these feuding families have considered what life would be like after they take the throne; or contemplated how short-lived their tenure might be.
If they took some time to weigh up the pros and cons of world domination they might choose to stay put. The reality is they’re thinking more in terms of short-term, immediate goals and less about what comes after which is perhaps typical of human nature. Sometimes it’s easier to think ‘I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it’ rather than contemplate the consequences in advance.
The point is that whilst they may seize the throne, they will not be able to rule unless all those factions decide they are happy to take direction. And, if they’ve neglected their loyal subjects back home in the process, they may find they no longer have any followers at all, without which they cannot lead.
The same principle applies in business. And remember, attracting willing followers who buy into you and your cause takes skill and humility. Once you’ve mastered the art, you can achieve business expansion with the full support of your people; and better still, without loss of life!