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Television in 2022 was pure, absolute delight. With major streaming services putting forth offerings such as Andor, Euphoria, Stranger Things, Abbot Elementary, Heartstopper, Better Call Saul, The White Lotus, and so many more, our subscription bills ran high.
As adoring a fan as we are to all these shows, there were a few stories, plots, and performances that stood out. But, completely from a business view point, the 5 shows we are talking about today held the most promise for us. There were times we watched a scene or witnessed a plot in these shows and wondered about its implications in the business world.
The 5 key business lessons we learned watching these shows are listed here, in no particular order.
Human beings are visual, visceral creatures and we often get swayed by what we see. This makes visuals an important part of creating good surveys, as well as showing off your new wealth.
But as this HBO Max superstar manna reiterates, visuals, though really, really important, are only a little part of what truly matters. When Ethan and Harper suddenly become multimillionaires, it changes them in ways they could never have imagined. Because their roots were shaky, it was easy for them to get blinded by the glitter.
And it wasn’t just them. Quentin was also a character of confused goals who lost his wealth trying to keep up an ostentatious lifestyle. If you aren’t careful, and have no deeper values anchoring you to the shore, it can be easy to get swept up by the oncoming current.
This is a great life lesson, as well as a business one, to keep in mind as you begin to expand and grow. Remember what was important when you started, what kept you going amid all the doubt, and use that to guide your journey. Because remember, there is going to come a lot of shine and glitter when success appears on the horizon. But as long as you hold true to your values, nothing will be able to shake your ground.
This is a show about a trained gourmet chef who inherits his family corner sandwich shop and tries to turn it into a world-class restaurant. He knows he can do it, he has the vision to do it, and knows that the restaurant has the potential to turn into one.
Yet, every step of the way, the changes he makes and the changes he suggests are met with suspicion and resistance. And this is normal for businesses; people are seldom happy with change. However, once you prove that it’s for the better, everyone comes on board.
For business leaders, implementing change in the current climate is infinitely trickier. To survive the pandemic, lots of changes were dumped onto people and that has made everyone wary. For the moment, your employees may be looking for some stability and certainty. Still, if changes are necessary, try to introduce them slowly. Know that people may genuinely think their way works better. You’ll need to show them through results that you can be trusted to know what you are doing. Take your managers in confidence and share your plan with them. Make the transition as smooth for people as you can, and give people the space to become comfortable with the new reality. Once that happens, the rest will be easy.
Saul Goodman was a lawyer of questionable morals but you can’t say he didn’t have resilience. He saw opportunity where there was none, and realized the importance of knowing your clients. He invested in his clients to learn how he could serve them, and himself, the best.
This prequel to Breaking Bad ran for 6 seasons and in each we saw Saul Goodman able to turn the tide in his favor. He maneuvered people, exploited loopholes, and made the most of his opponent’s weaknesses. But there was one thing that Saul Goodman did like no other man could. He could sell.
He sold his services, his ideas, stories, lies, cell phones, and more. But if you pay attention, every time he starts his sales pitch, he isn’t highlighting his product, he’s highlighting what the product can do for the client.
And that’s what really sells. It’s not the features or the technology or the jargon that impresses clients. It’s what all that means for the improvement of customers’ life or their business. Benefits, folks, benefits. Benefits sell.
Every time you have to meet a new client or have a new product to launch, don’t get overwhelmed by all the awesome features. Talk about how those features work and how they add value to your customers’ lives. Your bottom line will thank you.
While this show is still in its infancy — we only have the first season to go off of — it contains a wealth of C-suite wisdom. Leadership decisions taken by anyone with any ounce of power in HoTD are going to have large-scale, devastating effects on everyone in the realm. Very much like what happens in corporate boardrooms and high-stake executive meetings (looking at you, Elon Musk) at billion-dollar businesses and corner stores alike.
Among the show’s many key decision makers, Rhaenyra Targeryan emerges as the one with the most rational head on her shoulders. While Queen Alicent bases all her decisions on the fear of what may become of her children if Rhaneyra comes to power, the heir to the Iron Throne is thinking long term — aided by her knowledge of the prophecy. And for that reason, her true power is in restraint and negotiations. And she’s a master negotiator at that. She sends Jaharyes, her own heir to treat with Cregan Stark of the Winterfell knowing that both the boys are of an age and might form a bond, convinces Rhaenys to support her cause against the Greens, and in the show’s beginning, brings an angry Daemon to heed and makes him give up the stolen dragon egg, with no bloodshed and no sword fight.
If you are going to succeed in your entrepreneurial venture, you are going to need a cool and calm head on your shoulders, too. As much as you can, keep your eye on the prize and not be swayed by quick, short term gains at the cost of more significant benefits in the future. Spot your allies and make common cause with them. Learn to negotiate by accepting your weaknesses, fixing your follies, and fortifying your strengths.
If there is one takeaway from this entire show it is the pure and complete dedication the family showed to their cause. It was all hands on deck, and failure was not an option. They pivoted, compromised, negotiated, and went to all lengths to legitimize their business.
Paraphrasing what Walt Disney said, if you have the courage, the desire to see your fight through to the end, you just might emerge victorious after all.
It is this kind of resilience you are going to need if you want to succeed in the business world. When you start a business, the path forward is going to be bumpy. You’ll have to form new alliances and part with those that do not align with your values. If you are able to hold firm to your driving cause and reinvent and reshape as needs be, not many will be able to stand in your way.
Tell us what are your favorite shows of the year. Things you’ve been watching on repeat. Or a series that you binged in a day. Were there any corporate lessons you identified during a certain episode or an entrepreneurial epiphany you had when a character said something a particular way?
Fire off in the comments below.