Yes, I am on the “House of Cards” bandwagon.
The Netflix series continues to win praise and awards for writing, acting and it’s unique use of a subscription-based, steaming platform as its home. Like the Sopranos was for HBO, so too is the Kevin Spacey-driven series for Netflix.
While I am not an avid television watcher, “House of Cards” simply had me hooked from episode one of the first season. Not because of its sometimes over-the-top negativity of the politics of Washington, but because of its sheer brilliance in how many of its story lines and outcomes show insight into what it takes to be great and win at business. The series is filled with great business lessons we can all use in our daily lives – believe it or not.
As to not fill the post with spoilers, I won’t give too much away about the plot line or action from either season. Sometimes the events are over dramatized to make a point but they all point to one simple conclusion: it takes dedication, chutzpah and tough choices to make it to the top.
This lesson isn’t just one for aspiring Washington insiders. No, the central themes of the series are also applicable to your career and your business. Try to clear the negativity and see exactly what the characters are doing to get where they want to go, and the business lessons become clearer.
Here are the top three business lessons that I’ve surmised after watching two seasons of the enigmatic series:
No, I am not some Machiavellian master who is laying out a template here for people to back-stab or manipulate their way to the top. But business, like politics, is all about influence and power. You don’t get ahead, drive an innovative vision, or bring to life a great plan without having the fortitude to play the game. We all have to play the game and the better you do it, the more successful you’ll be. Business lessons are everywhere and we have to be ready to understand and decide if we’re willing to make the sacrifices and choices necessary to succeed.
I’ll admit, I’m sometimes more focused on being the nice guy or trying to be more liked. At the end of the day, the times I’ve succeeded the most and brought to life my vision to do my job the best way possible, I’ve followed the lessons we can learn if we look through the Hollywood candy into the real lessons of a great show like “House of Cards.”