If you've ever watched Game of Thrones, you'll realize that the show is more than just swords and dragons. It is about a power struggle to the top. And it is very much like office politics - minus the gore and bloody murders.

1. Help those, who can help you

Daenerys Targaryen knows this all too well. Free the slaves, and they'll come work for you. For free. Here's an example:

At work:

You're not going to succeed alone at work. That's why it's called a company. Every one is important. You'll need all the help you can get. Be sure to reciprocate that help, or practice paying it forward. You'll be surprised how far a hand in something can get you.

2. Learn how to strike deals

Catelyn Stark is one of the best deal makers around. In the face of adversity, she manages to call her bannermen in the war against the Lannisters. Here she is asking Walder Frey for help. She cuts straight to the chase:

At work:

Striking deals for the company or for yourself within the company is a skill you need to have. Try coming to favorable terms with another party. Always make sure your agenda is clear to avoid miscommunication. You'll be surprise how easy it is to strike a deal with just about anyone as long as you don't beat around the bush.

3. Never trust anyone. They can change camps at any time.

Ned Stark learned this the hard way. He was way too righteous. All too trusting. He worked alone. He never really helped anyone out. And he didn't know how to cut deals.


At work:

Your peers at work may appear friendly, but there's always a silent competition to the top. Never trust anyone completely, and if you're a team lead, don't micromanage so much to the point you drive them away. Always cover your bases. You'll never know when you need the support in the face of rumors and backstabbing.

4. The unexpected can happen, circumstances change

Margaery Tyrell had the unfortunate circumstance of being married to two people who could have made her queen, but the two of them died. Everyone dies in Game of Thrones anyway. When that happened, she went on to Plan C. Seduce Tommen Lannister.

At work:

You'll have to be creative when circumstances change. Your boss may resign, or there may be realignments in the company. Or worse, the market experiences a paradigm shift. And you're forced to rethink all your strategies once more. Either way, adapt quick, or you'll be irrelevant soon enough. Always have a Plan B, or C or D.

5. Plan for victory. You need to inspire.

Tyrion Lannister may be a dwarf who can't fight as well as anyone else in the show, but he doesn't need weapons. He also proves to be a good leader. Case in point: The Battle of the Blackwater. Watch how he riles and invigorate a group of demotivated soldiers.

At work:

Are you a manager? A team lead? Apart from having a clear and precise plan, you'll also need to metaphorically whip your team members. You are always going to face some form of failure in the future. And when that time comes, you'll have to step up to inspire and recharge your team, not only with a great plan, but with the spirit to create the enthusiasm you need to achieve your goals.

6. Use your head. Not your heart.

Tyrion Lannister is a prime example of a character from Game of Thrones who doesn't need to wield a sword. Because most of the time, the key to winning is to use your head. Rational and logical thinking always wins.

At work:

Don't let your feelings get in the way of work. No one cares. No one cares if you are the nice guy. No one even cares if you are overworked. Always use your smarts. Plan your day. List urgent items down. Keep a calendar. Write stuff down all the time. Approach a problem systematically and logically. Use your head. Not your heart.

7. Outsource when you can't handle the workload

Catelyn Stark is no ordinary woman in the Game of Thrones. She may not be skilled with the sword, but she is skilled with having good relationships with people that matter. Here she is calling for help to seize Tyrion who she accuses of trying to murder her son.

Robb Stark also learns from mummy.

At work:

There are things even your company can't do on its own. The solution? Have good contacts. Good suppliers. People who can be relied on to deliver something. That said, go out, make more friends. Make more contacts. Build rapport with people. It doesn't hurt to do so. It may even benefit you in your next company.

8. Build alliances

Alliances ensure one's survival. Especially in Game of Thrones. Here's Tyrion arranging for a sell-sword of sorts to defend his honor:

At work:

Similar to striking deals, this one here is pure office politics. Thread very careful around camps that you're not sure of. Build your rapport with key stakeholders, not just with a soft touch, but with actual deliverables. If you deliver, you'll gain their trust. In return, you've just got someone on your camp. Alliances are key to winning. You'll want a majority support if you want to get something important done.

9. Learn from your mistakes

Almost every character in Game of Thrones rarely gets a second chance at living. But there have been a few characters who have survived till now. Jon Snow, learned very quickly that he was too trusting in his brotherhood at the Night's Watch. Had he doggedly obeyed every order he got, he would have been dead by season 2. He survived by breaking his vows again and again:

At work:

You may at one point find yourself doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. That is akin to some form of insanity. Always learn from what went wrong, and accept that what you thought could have been right, was wrong all this time. A change in mindset is difficult, but if not applied, it would be the end of you.

10. Never operate like Joffrey Baratheon. It'll get you killed.

Let's consider this. Joffrey breaks promises, is too immature for such a high position, and had he not die, he'd be a raging lunatic by the time he's 21. Ruling with an iron fist and teenage hormones wasn't probably the best combination for him.

Here's a video summing up why we hate him:

And here he is dying. (Oops, spoiler?)

At work:

If you don't have any experience in being a boss, or a manager, you'll want to skip taking advice from Joffrey Baratheon. Have a clear direction of where you want to steer your team or company. Be reasonable and don't cross the line. Learn the wonderful benefits of using both hard and soft power. That said, you'll also have to be stern about objectives and rules. And while you can't be too nice, don't be too mean either. Everyone is human.