Few TV characters have had a more prodigious fall from grace than Robb Stark. He's gone fromas a wunderkind battle commander to making nearly as many critical missteps as someone intentionally trying to fail.
Most of us will never be tasked with leading an army into medieval warfare and certainly never with the threat ofon the horizon. However, the lion's (heh) share of Robb's poor decisions are actually made away from the battlefield, in the form of reckless management and shortsighted strategic decisions. These are the same sort of problems that normal, non-sword-wielding businesspeople contend with on a day-to-day basis. There's a surfeit of examples to glean from the series, but here are a few of the most obvious lessons.
Honor Your Partnerships
It should really go without saying that if you commit to something with an external party, you have to stick to that commitment, especially if you want to continue doing business with them (or anyone, for that matter). Robb's actions cause him to lose the respect of many of his men,, and even cause several of his men to abandon him completely. In the business world, you'll get all of that, and you'll get sued. Don't do it.
Set Your People Up For Success
And well, we all know what happened after that:
You know what is like to be told how lucky you are to be someone's prisoner? To be told how much you owe them? And then go back home to your real father?
Don't Lose Sight of the Big Picture
We see this tendency to locally optimize far too frequently in business: floppy disk manufacturers fight tooth and nail to create the best floppy disk. Then all of a sudden the CD-ROM company comes out and turns the industry upside down. Oh snap! Shit just got real. And yet, in spite of the biting reality of the market, floppy disk manufacturers keep a laser sharp focus on building better floppy disks, all the way to their demise. But it doesn't stop there; once the CD-ROM company starts resting on its laurels, Flash drives come in and takes over the market. And all the while, cloud storage is hatching on a distant continent, waiting to swoop in and clear everyone out.
It's easy to see where Robb Stark has gone wrong - it's more important to recognize how he's gone wrong, so that we can avoid making the same mistakes ourselves. The consequences for such mistakes, much like thewolf at Robb's side, can be dire.
And who are you, the proud lord said,
That I must bow so low?
Only a cat of a different coat,
That's all the truth I know.
In a coat of gold or a coat of red,
A lion still has claws,
And mine are long and sharp, my lord,
As long and sharp as yours.
And so he spoke, and so he spoke,
That lord of Castamere,
But now the rains weep o'er his hall,
With no one there to hear.
Yes now the rains weep o'er his hall,
And not a soul to hear.
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