Seven Game of Thrones Character Traits for a Revenue Manager

While it may feel like spring, winter is here…

And for fans of Game of Thrones, that means the beginning of the end for the beloved HBO series. This Sunday kicks off the final season of Game of Thrones’ television reign.

NB: This is an article from IDeaS

And along with just about everyone and their mother, I am eagerly waiting to see how the story wraps up and, most importantly, which character will “win” the game of thrones (if there’s even a throne left standing [or any living humans left to sit on it…]).

*Fair warning: if you are not caught up through season seven, there may be light spoilers below.*

For those living under a Casterly Rock, the epic TV show is based on an even more epic—and still unfinished—fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin called A Song of Ice and Fire. Martin’s interwoven stories and the show’s ability to keep viewers on their heels episode after episode have certainly helped make it a popular series, but the wonderfully deep characters are why the fanbase has truly remained so dedicated.

There’s much to admire (and despise) about the key players in this fictional world, but one thing many of them have in common—at least the ones still alive—is the possession of an intelligent and bold personality. And just as survival in the Seven Kingdoms depends on more than who has the sharpest sword or biggest dragon, in my industry I’ve found a successful revenue strategy depends on more than sophisticated technology alone.

So, it got me thinking (plus I was looking for an excuse to write a Game of Thrones blog post), if I wanted to find the perfect revenue manager for today’s incredibly dynamic and competitive landscape, using Games of Thrones characters for inspiration, what traits might that revenue manager need to possess?

A Leader…like Jon Snow

Being a great leader sometimes requires taking an unpopular position and staying true despite the naysayers. Jon Snow has sounded the White Walker alarm for years. Only recently have others finally started to listen and do something about it. For added confidence, become good friends with someone well-read like Samwell Tarly.

As a revenue manager: There will come a time when you’re challenged by a general manager about a pricing decision. The willingness to make the tough call and stand behind your decision is the sign of a revenue leader.

Strategic…like Sansa Stark

Sansa has come a long way since we were first introduced to her as a naïve lady in training. Over time she has developed a truly strategic mind and has mastered the art of turning an adversary’s strength into their ultimate downfall (e.g., Littlefinger and Ramsay Bolton).

As a revenue manager: Understanding the competition’s objectives and how they fit into the overall long-game will allow a business to stay one step ahead. A blend of market and competitor intelligence must be a core input of a strong revenue strategy.

Fierce…like Arya Stark

Arya’s unrelenting determination to achieve her goals—regardless of their violent, vengeful nature—has made her a fan favorite. Her fierce pursuit of new skills has rewarded her with the abilities that will lead her to success.

As a revenue manager: Once the target has been set, you must seek the necessary training to advance your talents and never give up in pursuit of your goals.

A Bridge Builder…like Daenerys Targaryen

Under her leadership, the Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains (I’d list more monikers, but my editor has me on a word count) has united disparate groups from around the world through empathy, respect and influence—having dragons helps, too—toward a common goal.

As a revenue manager: The need has never been greater for revenue management, marketing, sales and distribution to align. Data silos are slowly starting to fall, but just as significant a need is the collapse of knowledge silos. Revenue managers must build bridges with other departments by sharing their expertise and knowledge, all toward the common goal of greater profitability.

Innovative…like Cersei Lannister

Time and again Cersei has found herself backed into a corner, facing long odds (usually from her own doing), yet she now sits on the Iron Throne as Queen of Westeros. Where others hesitated, she did not in her willingness to use advanced technology and creative thinking to achieve her goals (e.g., wildfire and a giant zombie knight).

As a revenue manager: Innovate or die is a common refrain in the business world. The rate of change and quantity of data a revenue manager faces daily requires a mind that seeks creative, high-tech solutions to problems.

Open-Minded…like Jaime Lannister

Unlike his slightly older twin sister, Cersei, Jaime has some sense of right and wrong which spurs him to be open to people and ideas that share his sense of honor and justice. During his time spent with others, like Brienne of Tarth and the Blackfish, Jaime’s idea of what he thought to be right and true was changed, only because he was open to it.

As a revenue manager: Anchoring a revenue strategy in one spot without the willingness to adjust is a recipe for failure. Revenue managers must be open to new ideas, data and technology to achieve the best returns.

Clever…like Tyrion Lannister

Through his wit, intellect and street smarts, Tyrion has developed into one of the best players of the game of thrones. Whether on the battlefield or in a council room, an opponent often finds themselves on the losing end of one of Tyrion’s clever schemes.

As a revenue manager: Your time is best spent focusing on strategy and staying ahead of the competition. That requires a nimble, analytical mind that can quickly assess all the facts and come up with smart solutions to challenging market problems.

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