Saturday, 23 May 2015

Managerial Grid Model, Game of Thrones Version

For some reason, I enjoy filling on line quizzes that tell me which Game of Thrones character I'd be. I've done lots of them and today I found one that was outstandingly different, What Is Your Game Of Thrones Management Style?, on no less than The Wall Street Journal.

In case you're wondering, I got Margaery Tyrell, but back on topic, this test made me think on the different managerial styles as seen in the different Game of Thrones characters.

Then I thought I'd make a grid to describe them; but then, when thinking about management, there are probably thousands of grids around that help describe managerial styles. Turns out a quick Google check made me stumble upon The Blake Mouton Managerial Grid, which apparently has been around since 1964 and defines five main types of management styles based on the concern for production and concern for people.

The graph describes it in a clearer way so take a look...
The Leadership Grid® figure from Leadership Dilemmas – Grid Solutions by Robert R. Blake and Anne Adams McCanse (Formerly the Managerial Grid by Robert R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton). Houston: Gulf Publishing Company, Copyright 1991 by Grid International, Inc.
A quick explanation from the site explores each one of the main 5 styles:

Impoverished Management (1,1): Low concern for the results, low concern for the people.

Country Club Management (9,1): High concern for the people, low concern for results.

Authority-Compliance Management (1,9): Low concern for the people, high concern for the results. 

Middle-of-the-Road Management: Medium concern for the Results and medium concern for the People.

Team Leadership (9,9): High concern for Production/Results, and High concern for People.

A test can be taken to identify more accurately a person's place in the grid (for example, a 3,8 would care a little bit about the results and a lot about the people, while a 7,4 would care well enough about results and kind of about the people).

So now to Westeros... 

Basically, half the characters in the show that have a name worth remembering are some type of leader (it's not called Game of Pillows), so for a practical real life application of the model, let's use the grid to analyse this bunch of imaginary power thirsty crew.

[Warning: Although all efforts were made to keep the next part of the post spoiler-free, traces of plot can be found so please take caution if you're spoiler intolerant or suffer from spoiler triggered allergies]

King Joffrey: He's an Impoverished Manager (1,1) as he doesn't care about anyone but himself, and he's also inept at getting stuff done. As any other 1,1, he is pretty much hated and useless, working for a guy like this is a waste of time.

Renly Baratheon: A Country Club Manager (9,1), this guy has the coolest camp ever set up for his army and he actually seems to care for the people around him. Now, his ability to get results is a different story.

Robb Stark: Another Country Club Manager (9,4) with a bit more of interest in the results, but not enough to make effective decisions. As Renly, he's loved by his team, but his lack of assertiveness makes him waste all this support.

Cercei Lannister: She's a Middle-Of-The-Road Manager (5,5) that cares enough about her team not to find them disposable, but not as much to make her hesitate about sending them in a deadly and relatively unnecessary mission. Regarding the results, she's stubborn and believes she's smarter than what she actually is, and that often makes her take mediocre choices. Also, she's a drunk, which doesn't particularly help the cause.

Petyr Baelish: This Authority-Compliance Management (1,9) couldn't care less about the people or more about the results. Need to break an alliance to get ahead? Done. A key partner has to go so he can get a powerful stranger in debt? Easy peasy. Promises, bows and agreements mean nothing if they interfere with getting the wanted results. 

Tywin Lannister: A milder (probably the only paragraph on Earth with him defined as "milder") Authority-Compliance Management (4,9). He doesn't have any concern for most people except a very small part of his team, and even then, if he has to ruin their day (or life) for his version of the greater good, so be it. As he get things done and is efficient and intelligent, people respect him, even the haters.

Stannis Baratheon: A decent Team Leader (7,7) but not quite a great one. He cares for his people but is awful at showing this in an effective way, and he works towards getting results, but there's always that obstacle that he can't quite surpass. He's one of those guys that work extremely hard and are always under a lot of stress. The fact that he's ill advised and has zero charisma only makes things harder.

Daenerys Targaryen: Another almost-rounded Team Leader (9,6), she cares about the people fully (some might say a bit too much sometimes), and they are crazy about her. She cares so much about what people think that she second guesses herself frequently. The fact that she doesn't have a clear objective also deteriorates her chances of getting results even with all the resources at her disposal (and before you jump at me, is she sailing to conquer Kings Landing? Is she staying where she is to rule for a long time? Is she going to change plans in two weeks and  decide to wander around on a flying dragon freeing all villages in the continent before actually going and claiming the throne?). She has delayed things to pursue results outside her main plan and she has wasted lots of time and resources in the process. This is not necessarily a bad thing, unless you are on a deadline.

Jon Snow: This Team Leader (9,9) deserves the top qualification as he balances a true concern for everyone involved and for the results as well. This doesn't mean his team love him, but most of them are loyal, and the ones who aren't are dealt with in a fair way (or scared into shutting their mouths up and cooperating for the good of the team). He has managed to get out of very difficult situations and he has a proven track record of finding creative solutions.

Agree? Disagree? Completed the Test and want to talk about your results? Comments are the place to :D

1 comment:

Shadhin Kangal said...

Developed by by R. R. Blake and J. S. Mouton, the Managerial Grid Model helps Managers to analyze their own leadership styles through a technique known as grid training. Also Managers can identify how they with respect to their concern for production and people with Managerial Grid Model.