Powerful Lessons From House of Cards
You may hate him, detest him or simply love him, but there is no denying that House of Cards has a cult like following with viewers often fantasizing Frank Underwood as the next President of America in the 2016 November election. I for sure am a huge fan of the Netflix program and can’t wait for the release of Season 5. There are many a lesson to be learnt from the wilful and every conniving Mr. President and First Lady. And though you may not admit it, many of us myself included wish we become Frank and Claire Underwood.
While Underwood’s tactics are—on a good day!—morally questionable, he has an acute talent for selling his dream fearlessly that has taken him from Congressman to President. Let’s look at some of Frank’s powerful monologues when he turns to the camera to share his vision with the audience.
Competence is such an exotic bird in these woods that I appreciate it whenever I see it – Become a subject matter expert. Know your thing. Everyone respects someone who knows what he is doing. Have mastery over your business, know the inside out, strength and loopholes, command it like no other.
Sometimes the only way to gain your superiors respect is to defy him – No one respects a Yes Man. He is called to meetings to meet the quorum. Form your own opinions, know the value you bring to the table and have the courage to voice it out. Assertively not aggressively (you and me are not Frank or the First Lady J). Disagree if you have to, but have your facts in place. People will respect you for being your own person and standing for what you believe in.
There is no better way to overpower a trickle of doubt than a flood of naked truth – Building credibility takes years, destroying it takes a second. When questioned, be honest and expose the truth. People will understand your point of view and emphasize with your cause.
If you want to earn my loyalty then you will have to offer yours in return – We know this works both ways. You give, to get in return. Giving respects garners respect. The same applies with loyalty, in good times or in bad. Trusting others, makes them want to deliver to match up to your expectation.
I should have thought of this before. Appeal to the heart not the brain– Brain is logic, Heart is feelings. While logic is important, in situations where logic fails to help you get cut the deal, negotiate using the heart, appeal to the feelings and emotions of people. No matter how cold or ruthless, you may strike a chord somewhere, where logic fails to work for you.
I won’t leave one of my own bleeding on the field – Yes, corporate world can be cut throat competitive, but always learn to stand up for your tribe. Loyalty in times of trouble will command you high respect and will create opportunities for you in return.
Even Achilles was only as strong as his heel – We are only as strong as our greatest weakness. Focus your strengths and weakness. Build on your strengths and overcome your weakness or use them strategically to meet your goals before your competition figures out what are your weakness and uses them to their advantage.
Proximity to power deludes some into think they wield it – Remember your position. Dough Stamper is the Chief of Staff to the President. He is not the President. Know where your power ends and when to draw the line, before others need to remind you.
If you don’t like how the table is set, turn over the table – Do not just stand and criticize. Act, take charge, make things happen for you. Be solution oriented and not just the problem. Figure out innovative ways of doing this, challenge the existing system, question if things do not seem right to you
The nature of promises, Linda, is that they remain immune to changing circumstances – Think before you accept deadlines and projects. Do not agree to anything and everything asked of you. Negotiate for what you believe to be is fair. But once you accept to do something, honour your commitment. Be known for being a Man of your Word, no matter the outcome, situation or circumstances.
I never make such big decisions so long after sunset and so far from dawn – This one is a golden rule. Often practiced by Frank and Claire themselves. When in doubt, not sure of your decision, sleep over it. Do not act impulsively. Buy time to think through the issue from all angles. The next morning the solutions that open up in front of you may just as much surprise you as well.
About the Author
The author is an alumna of Goa Institute of Management and currently working with Citi Bank as an HR Generalist. She has also worked with The Times Group.