House of Cards is an American political thriller from Netflix. It follows the main character Frank Underwood who is a ruthless politician as he ascends to the highest posts in the US government. House of Cards is a critically acclaimed series and has a huge and loyal fan base. On this instalment of business lessons to learn from TV shows, we would be looking at the lessons we can learn from Frank Underwood and the House of Cards series as a whole. Frank Underwood is a ruthless man and his behaviour is not be encouraged but there are a few lessons people in the business world can learn from him and we are going to point them out. To read our last instalment on business lessons to learn from TV shows, please click here.
You Need the Keys and the Gatekeeper
If you watch the show then you will be familiar with Frank Underwood’s quote “You not only need the keys in your back pocket, you need the gatekeeper”. As an entrepreneur or someone in the business world, you need to understand the value of networking and forming relationships with the right people. When someone on the show needs to get something done, the first question they ask is, “Who do we know?” Knowing the right people would help you accomplish your goals faster.
Play the Long Game
One thing Frank Underwood knows how to do is play the long game. On House of Cards, we see time and time again how Frank and his wife have deprived themselves short term joy for long term success. They are a good strategist, they always have an end goal in sight and know how to sacrifice short term pleasures to get to that goal. As a business owner it is important you learn how to play the long game. Every short term decision made should have the long term goal in its sight.
Live with tremendous ambition.
On House of Cards, one thing that makes the show so good is Frank and Claire vicious ambition. Watching them stop at nothing to achieve their goals is what makes the show so exciting. They are constantly working towards their goals, as an entrepreneur, you should try to emulate that type of ambition and drive. Obviously, we are not encouraging, killing or some of the other horrible things the two stars do on the show to get to their goals. But to succeed in business, you will need to work every single day to achieve your goals. You will need to be willing to stop at nothing to achieve your goals.
Treat your subordinates with respect
On House of Cards, we can see how Frank keeps his underlings under strict control. He is a natural tyrant and it seems to work for him most of the time but other times it works against him. Like when he humiliated his vice presidential running mate, his choice vice presidential running mate eventually turned against him in a spectacular way. An important lesson to learn is that as a leader you need to exert authority and that’s understandable. But you should still treat your followers with respect and dignity.