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10 Things Game of Thrones Taught Us About Employee Advocacy

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 6 years, you’ve heard of Game of Thrones and the near cult following it’s amassed. But there’s more to learn besides the brilliant storytelling.

From the repercussions of Sansa’s ridiculous teenage crush to the way Tyrion offers wise life advice because he “drinks and knows things”, every character, every house, has a nugget of insight and wisdom to offer.

Because it’s like Cersei said – “When you play the game of thrones, you play to win”.

Here’s what they taught us;

The Targaryens –


1. Don’t get cocky – even if you’re off to a good start.

On one hand, we have Aegon, the Conqueror. He was great. He got all the rulers of the seven kingdoms to bend the knee to him. Even the north! Then we have Aries. The mad king. Need we say more?

If you’ve had a successful launch of your advocacy program, you’ve definitely done something right. But the key to success is being consistent. If you think that the hard work is over after the launch, you better think again. You’re going to need to keep coming up with great content and new ways to keep your employees motivated if you want to see the true potential of employee advocacy. Stay involved and on top of the game at all times.

2. Never give up. Even if things don’t run well for a bit.

Daenerys Stormborn of house Targaryen may have more titles than anyone cares to listen to, but she’ll still insist on mentioning them every chance she gets. Why? She damn well earned them!

Danny didn’t start off so great. But she’s persistent and determined. So much so that when she stepped out of that fire, you could hear the sound of “You go girl” echo around the world.

You’re going to have bad days. You might even have bad weeks. But the key is to keep going. Root out the problem area and find a fix. If you’re failing, know this – employee advocacy has been proven time and again to work. Whatever it is, you can find a way to fix it.

The Lannisters –


3. First impressions aren’t always as they seem. Give it time.

If you told me back in season one that I’d actually end up feeling sorry for Jaime Lannister, I’d have laughed so hard they’d hear me back at the Wall. But of course, Season 3 rolled around and we all learned that he actually had a heart. Who knew, eh?

Employee advocacy seems like a simple enough concept and it’s because of this simplicity that most people expect quick results. Employee advocacy works best when you start small, with a pilot batch of your most socially savvy employees. But nurture it, grow it, and we speak from experience when we say, you will be blown away. Just give it time.

4. Embrace what makes you different.


Tyrion Lannister is one of the most intriguing and genuinely likable characters on the show – even with his questionable family. Why is that? Personally, I think it’s because he doesn’t care what people say and stays true to who he is.

Authenticity plays an integral role in employee advocacy. It’s the voice of your employees that will draw the crowds. Stay clear from scripts and don’t be afraid to experiment, as long as guidelines are maintained. Remember, what works for others may not work for you. Likewise, what works for you may not for others. Authenticity. Embrace it.

blog-CTAThe Tyrells –


5. Strong leadership and careful planning are crucial.

house-tyrellHouse Tyrell didn’t always have it easy. Unlike the beginnings of other great houses, they started out as stewards. But with carefully calculated alliances and more importantly, good leadership, they grew to be the rulers of one of the most prosperous lands in all of Westeros.

Similarly, maintaining a good program is all about how stable your leadership is. Employee advocacy is a concept that requires a good strategy – from curating content to executing the program with maximum efficiency, strong leadership is essential to the success of an employee advocacy program. Think like Olena, not Mace.

6. It’s not always about the budget.

In the same way, our dealings with employee advocacy show us that it’s not the size of the company or the budget that matters.

Companies with as few as 50 employees can make a big impact in the social world if they play their cards right.

The Baratheons –


7. Don’t get lazy.

Robert Baratheon was able to rise above everything and everyone in the seven kingdoms – all because of his drive to avenge his lost love. Then he got lazy. And got killed by a bore.

It’s your passion that drives you. Whether it’s curating content, or training employees, or motivating them to participate more, your positive energy and drive will show in your work and most definitely influence the people around you.

8. Be ethical.

house-baratheonStannis got a few shortcuts with the help of the red woman, but let’s face it, he started out pretty respectable from what Ser Davos tells us, but died alone and hated by pretty much everyone with a heart.

Yes, employee advocacy works. And because it does, there’ll always be a few who’ll offer you “easier” ways to do things. It’s not uncommon for admins of certain advocacy programs to ask employees for their personal login credentials to increase numbers. Let us be the ones to tell you, not only is it not ethical, it also doesn’t work.

The Starks –


9. Be a good leader; trust and loyalty will follow.

Ah, the good ol’ Starks. They’re honest, honorable and loyal. Almost to a fault. But the north remembers. So when the going gets tough, they know that their people will have their backs.

Employee advocacy needs employee participation to be successful. It’s as simple as that. The more engaged your employees are with their jobs, the better the response you’ll get.

10. Don’t be naïve

Every time I think of Sansa in the first season, I feel a major eye roll coming on. And don’t get me wrong, as good as they were, the Starks did a lot of stupid things that had them falling like flies.

Yes, employee advocacy platforms are great, but assuming that they’ll do all the work for you isn’t going to cut it. Most people think that by offering attractive rewards or mandating social sharing will get them results when actually it couldn’t be further from reality.

These tactics will only create ‘puppet advocates’. Stop the treats and threats, and your back to square one. Instead, focus on details that would otherwise have been missed, like surveying your employees to know what kind of content they want to consume, and trying to convert disengaged employees.


Image credits  – www.geeknative.com


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