Lessons in Leadership from King Joffrey


Fear and trust are mutually exclusive emotions. When your employees fear you, they won’t come to you with problems. This becomes an issue because, as we’ve shown in our recently published whitepaper, leaders are often not aware of their employees’ concerns.

And if employees aren’t taking their problems to you, they are taking them to someone else.

In fact, our research showed that 1 in 3 employees won’t take their concerns to their employers – instead, 20% will speak to HR, or to a colleague.

This is illustrated perfectly by King Joffrey from Game of Thrones. He abuses his power, inspires fear in his subjects through his unpredictable responses and actions, loses their trust, and then pays for it. Big time.

Leaders are often not aware of their employees’ concerns

Joffrey was insecure in his authority, and took every opportunity to demonstrate his power. Of course, this didn’t end well – his unhappy ‘employees’, sick of his tyrannical ways, skipped straight past HR and reached straight for the poison!

Had Joffrey dedicated less energy playing to his insecurities and been more observant, he might have noticed the general discontent in his court. If he was aware of the problem, he could have stamped out the people stirring up trouble and saved his own life. Alternatively, he could have been a better leader – but I think we all know that wasn’t on the cards!

Don’t be like Joffrey

So how do you make sure your employees don’t band together and poison you report you to HR? Well, you need to banish that insecurity to start with! Abusing authority is a one-way ticket to high turnover rates, costing your business incredible amounts of money in the process. Ensure you understand the requirements and limitations of your role, what level of management your team needs from you, and empower your team members to do their own jobs.

Build your arsenal of leadership skills

You can also work on your general leadership skills, so you can support and grow your team effectively.

Try to examine your own leadership style and assess whether you need to work on qualities like empathy and honesty. Displaying these qualities can make employees heard, valued and trusted.

Next, you can implement employee feedback programs. When employees have a dedicated platform where they can be heard – especially if it’s anonymous – they are more likely to voice their pain points, giving you early warning and perhaps even some constructive criticism. The most important thing here is that you’re aware: aware of general unhappiness, aware of intentions to leave the company, or aware of serious issues.

Or, you can always taunt your uncle and humiliate your ex-fiancé. But we all know how that works out!

Whitepaper: Leadership in the Age of Disruption

As a Human Resources and Recruitment leader, we here at Chandler Macleod understand that people are our business. We wanted to better understand the evolving demands of business leaders, and gain a better understanding of what employees want from their leaders in the modern workplace.

So we surveyed 970 leaders, managers, and supervisors; and 1,084 employees to ask what they believed to be the most critical factors for successful leadership, and conversely, what were the outcomes of poor leadership.

This report doesn’t just give you the outcomes of our research, but we provide some tips and strategies to successfully adapt management skills and leadership in this age of disruption.

Click here the read the whitepaper.

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