Case Study:

“Flawed leadership”: lessons from House of the Dragon

Written by Mark Rowland Wednesday 07 December 2022
Spoiler alert: the blockbuster HBO show House of the Dragon is really a story about succession planning – and how not to execute it
House of the Dragon logo

Succession planning should start early, and that successor should be worked with and developed to ensure that they’re in a good position to take over when the time comes. 

Yet, according to research conducted by the Institute of Executive Development and Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, many businesses don’t know who the best candidates to take over the organisation are – and often avoid talking about it until it’s too late.

It’s a pity that the Targaryen family in HBO’s House of the Dragon never read this research. The Game of Thrones spinoff is one of the most popular shows of 2022 – and seems to have a plot built around flawed management and terrible succession planning.

Think of the Targaryen dynasty as a family business. The current king (CEO?), Viserys, took over the kingdom (business?) after a contentious succession process that saw him chosen over the previous king’s daughter, Rhaenys, after a vote by the Lords of Westeros (the wider leadership team). But now he has a problem with his own succession planning…

Discover three lessons from King Viserys


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