20th May, 2019
To celebrate the launch of Partner Connect 2019, we’ve highlighted the key qualities of seven of your favourite Game of Thrones advisors to see how your style stacks up.
As we head towards the epic conclusion of everyone’s favourite fantasy TV series, our little birds have brought news of another huge event on the horizon.
Unlike the Red Wedding, Partner Connect 2019 is the kind of affair you’ll only metaphorically lose your head over. And this year is going to be bigger than the Battle of Winterfell, bringing together MYOB Partners, accountants and bookkeepers from all over Australia and New Zealand.
If you’re a business advisor who has been following Game of Thrones, you may have taken some delight in the many references to finance and to the importance of solid counsel. From Tywin Lannister’s rumoured ability to ‘manufacture’ gold to the predatory lending practices of the Iron Bank, here’s a show that doesn’t fail to acknowledge the reality of economics despite the presence of dragons and elemental evil.
But, have you ever caught yourself comparing your own client management style with that of some of Westeros’s most notable advisors? Well, grab a horn of ale and a place by the hearth, because we’ve gone and highlighted the key traits of seven of our favourites so you can see how you stack up.
A classic underdog character, Tyrion makes up for his short stature with his ability to strategise. He’s also provided some of the sagest advice throughout the series, at one time telling Jon Snow to make your weakness your strength: “Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you”. This, coupled with the affection he bears for those close to him, makes him a very valuable advisor. If only he could make himself be heard occasionally. Where’s that soapbox at?
The way things are going this season, if Tyrion was a business advisor, he’d be spending most of his time trying to convince clients they don’t have to let staff go in order to make ends meet this financial year…
Weakness: Blind to evil in those he loves
Another of the true loyalists, Jorah’s love of his Queen, Daenerys blinds him to just about anything else, including her shortcomings. While it’s all good and well to back your clients to the death, you also need to be able to get through to them when they’re going about things the wrong way.
Translated for real world advisory, Jorah’s the type of advisor who spends his time defending his clients’ decisions even when he advised them to do the opposite in the first place.
Master of Whispers, Lord Varys is a spider at the centre of an international web of spies. Dealing in gossip comes with a unique set of problems, and Varys relies on sharp sensibilities to sort fact from fiction. He’s also an advisor on a mission: he only wants to work for the best client *ahem* ruler in all of Westeros.
That’s all well and good, but the ideal advisor needs to show a touch more loyalty.
Varys as a business advisor would always be ahead of the curve when it comes to new techniques and tools for his clients. Unfortunately, this means he’s regularly changing his prices, pricing structure and sees a lot of churn on his client list as a result.
Shrewd and not afraid to voice her opinions, Olenna is the kind of advisor most people need but not everyone wants to have. You might be amazing at your job, but that doesn’t mean you need to ram it down everyone’s throat all the time, OK?
If Olenna was running a practice, she’d have stepped away from the ‘day-to-day’ operations, but still loves to ‘pop-in’ to work her magic in key client meetings, industry breakfasts and award dinners.
Charming? Yes. Principled? No. Littlefinger has just one, big priority and that’s himself. His advice may seem sound, but it’s only devised to meet his own ends, and he’d dump a client as soon as the wind changes. We suggest an ideal advisor should sit somewhere between Littlefinger and Jorah Mormont on the loyalty scale.
Ever worked with a business advisor who simply doesn’t play well with others? In the real world, we just can’t imagine Littlefinger being able to work in a team environment for very long, instead focusing his energy on high-value, short-term jobs that he charges clients an arm and a leg for.
Here’s the type of advisor anybody would want to have – on paper. Strategic, stands his ground and his loyalty is unwavering. Even better, he’s got a real instinct for survival (and recently became literate!). There’s just one problem: he seems to have a habit of backing the wrong horse, often resulting in his client’s death while he gets out unscathed. Maybe not the ideal advisor, then.
In our reality, Davos would make a great in-house bookkeeper due to his tireless effort and principled approach. He’s worked with some dodgy operators in the past, but if he can just find the right business to work with, we’re confident he’ll have a long and happy career ahead of him.
The ultimate in alternative advisory. Melisandre has a set of arcane beliefs that nobody else seems to understand, but nevertheless have a healthy fear of. We may not be able to trust her methods, but she certainly gets results in a pinch (even if it does mean martyring herself). Tax planning with a side of reiki anyone?
For a real-world scenario, The Red Lady is guaranteed to be that person who seems to be connected to all the right people. Software trouble? Printing services out of action? Melisandre has a chance of solving the problem with one, quick phone call.
Strength: Special knowledge
Weakness: Her assistance comes at a high cost (pricey services)
So, there it is, seven advisors from the Seven Kingdoms, each with a unique flair for offering wisdom to those who will listen. And, as we prepare for whatever the grand finale brings, keep in mind that your calendar doesn’t end here.
After all, there are only a few short months left before Partner Connect 2019. The night is dark and full of terrors, but there’s plenty to look forward to as well.