There Is A Game Of Thrones In Every Office


We all have been there; overwhelmed with emotions and concerns of our family, friends, and neighbours for landing on to a job. The excitement of joining a new (or first) job is priceless. Some do it because they have to (or forced to), while other do it for pure fun; as there long term focus lies somewhere else. Not sure of their capabilities, or what they should pursue, these people are put along with others to learn skills and made to work on the critical project (defend the Great Wall); while facing all sorts of adversities.  Often, they are bullied by their peers (brothers of the Night’s Watch), or seniors for their inability to perform tasks (just like Samwell Tarly or better known as Sam). Once in a while, these people (mostly fresher) are able to pull off a work beyond their imagination. However, their ultimate focus it to become a maestro (pursue masters) and lead a peaceful life.

People like Sam often run in to project lead (like Jon Snow) who protect the team at every instance. Jon, oblivious to the challenges he will have to face, volunteered to join the team out of frustration from previous work, or for making an identity for himself. Despite all the struggles, he is able to make few supporters for himself; people who like his work and thinks he is better qualified to lead them. He knows nothing about management (or the diplomacy required with the job), nor is he aware of his true capabilities. However, he cares for his people and he is able to connect with them on emotional front. Jon can be unknowingly arrogant and naive, and will not be shy to lead his team to danger because of what he thinks is right; against his (unhappy) peers, client UAT team (Wildlings), and client (White Walkers). Somehow, he manages to get help just at the right time.

Every global organisation would have off-shore base (Winterfell) with a project delivery manager (Ned Stark), on-shore or headquarter (King’s Landing) with a client executive (Rober Baratheon) – this is the most sought after position, and the other departments (the remaining Houses). The departments often provide support based on the proximity, or an advantage they may get. For instance, the HR department is like the House of Frey (which rules The Twins and its surrounding lands, controlling the strategically important crossing of the Green Fork); who control the movement of people, or process visa applications. They often weigh their options before taking any action; pretend to support the people in need (like the Starks), but we all know are waiting for an approval from the managers (the Lannisters).

Being an old friend (or protagonist), Ned is forced (at times foreseeing long term gain, or to help with a difficult client) to oblige the king (Robert). At heart, Ned has his best interest for the organisation (Seven Kingdoms) and wants to help Robert the best he can; the trouble starts for him when he tries to find out more details about the processes, and gaps in on-shore ways of working. In order to save, his own team (family at offshore) he falls victim to traps laid by ferocious and competitive programme manager (Cersei), technical manager (Jaime), and others who want to save their secrets, their places, and rule at the on-shore.

If you are able to get in good books of these managers, then you’ll have a sound working environment. Consequently, you may end up like Sansa, or Arya. Sansa (was so eager to go onsite), had no real capability apart from the fact that she was beautiful, and pestered Ned so much that he had to agree. Her luck ran out after reaching onsite because she fails to understand the politics, or the ways of working. She is traded off to different departments/projects, eventually to linkup with her close associates and returns to off-shore. Now her greatest asset is her knowledge about other people, their strengths and weaknesses. Gradually, she learns and becomes bold and starts getting involved in management.

Conversely, Arya never wanted to go onsite but was sent to accompany Sansa. Tempted to learn new skills, she had no interest in matters of management. Her knacks don’t go well with the likes of Cersei and she is made to run away, only to join another firm. Learning from the experiences and loaded with some new skills she makes a comeback.

Morale: There are different people all around us, but their characteristics remain nearly similar. It’s up to us to decide what we want to be, or with whom we want to be. Spotting the friends and foes at the right time can prepare you to keep yourself away from harm’s way. High-born or not, in the end it’s your skills (natural or acquired) which will help you sustain and fend off challenges.

“You need to know it’s your actions that will make you a good person, not desire.” ~ Matthew Quick



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