Amazing Lessons in Business Leadership from Emmy-Nominated Shows

In a recent leadership report conducted by Robert Half Management Resources, three qualities came out as clear winners among workers as being most desirable in a business leader:

  • Integrity led the survey by a wide margin. As Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half put it: “Leaders who act with integrity and treat people well help maximize the contributions of their employees and build goodwill for their organization.”
  • Fairness was nearly as important. The Balance notes that managers who don’t play favorites and who model consistent rules and treat their workers the way they themselves would like to be treated have a far easier time attracting and retaining the best talent.
  • Decisiveness came in a very close third. As Industry Week comments, nobody loses authority more quickly than a decision-maker who can’t decide.

One way to get a better understanding of how these qualities work is to examine lessons from the stories we tell. As the Emmy Awards celebrate the best in television they also provide us a lens for looking at key leadership strengths.

Integrity: Queen Elizabeth II from The Crown

This sprawling bio-drama about the life of Queen Elizabeth II holds powerful leadership lessons. One of them is the queen’s use of candor and integrity — on occasion to the point of being mistaken for blunt or rude — as a source of credibility. Her openness and willingness to directly address sensitive issues make key turning points that help cement her legacy.

Fairness: Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen is one of the most indelible characters from this famous epic fantasy show. Originally a pawn in a ruthless succession conflict, she becomes a major player by the simple application of fairness in her rule, a quality many competitors sorely lack. Her most justly famous quote is: “I will answer injustice with justice.”

Decisiveness: Nancy from Stranger Things

The supernatural retro-’80s thriller lives up to its name through other-worldly threats, government conspiracies and psychic powers, but it’s all kept down to earth by some very brave and human characters. One of the best is Nancy, a shy high school sophomore in the first season who becomes a brave, decisive leader by the second. She’s the character in the series who takes charge of her own life, faces head-on the things that frighten her most and carries out the kind of decisive action leadership demands.


Robert Half Management Resources:

The Balance:

Industry Week:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.