A couple of months ago, I wrote an article which highlighted all the brilliant and insightful monologues which our beloved fictitious US president in the TV show, House of Cards – Frank Underwood delivered to all the viewers. I’ll post that article here soon.
Now, I know that he is one of the most ruthless person ever encountered after the Joker, but there are lessons to learn from the way Frank handles situations.
10 business lessons from Frank Underwood –
1. Know the rules completely –
Frank is a player in the game of US politics, and there are rules and laws which go into that game. This is a country we’re talking about; so imagine the intensity of that game and the detail of the countless laws and rules which go behind it. Frank first familiarizes himself with all the laws and rules before he takes on challenges in the game. As a result, he can figure out ways to get out of disastrous scenarios, as well as design traps for his foes.
2. Diplomacy –
Diplomacy is a default attribute in every politician. And Frank has a lot of it embedded in him. Personally, I would opt out of diplomacy in the areas that I operate, but I’ve never been inside a politician’s shoes. As far as politics is concerned, diplomacy can take you a long way down the path you want to take. When I say politics, I mean it in a more general sense, and not just the politics you hear about in the news.
3. During negotiation, meet your opponent halfway at-most –
As a politician, Frank obviously has a lot of negotiations with his enemies, his family and his friends. A successful negotiation always has both parties satisfied. There is no one winner, nor any one loser. The way this happens is that both parties tries to let go of some aspects of the demands each makes. That way, you at-least make the deal happen with something, rather than nothing. In other words, you meet your opponent halfway with the demands you’re making and with the demands they’re making.
4. Always be ready to do what you want your subordinates to do –
Frank Underwood orders his subordinates to do what he wants in every sense of the word. But he knows that he would do the same kind of things if need be; and boy, does he outdo himself.
With that attitude, you not only are self satisfied with the fact that you’re ordering your subordinates, but your subordinates also know that you’d do the same, and respect you more. Hence, it results more loyalty; organic loyalty.
5. Goal orientation –
We all know this, and we all have heard this a million times – Break down your primary goal into lots of steps, and then do them one at a time. That is exactly what Frank does in the entire TV show. His goal is to be the president of the United States of America, and to be one, there are lots of steps to be completed. He slowly does each of them. He might seem off track at some points, but he really isn’t if you’re noticing.
There are struggles along the way, because there are others who share his goal; and we all know there’s only one presidential seat in the oval office.
6. A smile goes a long way –
This is one trait about Frank I love the most, and which I personally have embedded in me in a lot of difficult situations. It is simple; have a smiling face regardless of your emotion towards the other person. You hate that person? Smile. You want to strangle that person to death? Just. Smile.
This not only will give you emotional stability, this will make the other person a little intimidated, considering how well you seem to be handling the situation. If you can intimidate that person, you can beat them.
7. Protect the ones you truly care about –
This goes without saying, but a trait that I noticed in Frank nonetheless, and a trait so important that it could make you, or break you. Without the people who truly care about you and who truly support you, you cannot achieve greatness. There’s only so much you alone can do, but the rest of the path you need to walk with your friends’ support. Although this is general, this is especially true in governing politics.
8. Losing a battle doesn’t mean losing the war –
Your goal is now broken down into steps, and some of those numerous steps might not be do-able, or in other words, the hurdles you face put you in a position that you have to bend the knee to that battle. It doesn’t mean your goal is now un-reachable. If anything, you’re more stronger.
Frank illustrates this ideology by swaying with the wind, as it goes. There is a scenario where the leaders in his own party don’t want him to stand as a candidate for presidency. But, becoming the president and keeping that position is his goal. He devices a strategy such that it appears as if he agrees to the party’s demands, only to spark another battle such that he can make up for the previously lost battle by winning this one.
9. Face value of a situation is only the result, and not the actual value –
Face value of a situation is the result of whatever you did to achieve that. You might read that gay marriage is now legal in USA, but there was a lot of work put into that, and lots of people who worked against a lot of other people to achieve that. That work is not exactly highlighted by the media. Everyone only cares about the result, and you ought to figure out what to do in order to achieve your goals.
Frank does all the really important work himself in order to achieve all the minor goals, as well as the primary one. All this work is sometimes not known by anyone else but him.
10. There’s ALWAYS a way –
One thing I’m certain is that Frank never fails to discover various ways to win battles, and ultimately, the war. From flattery, to killing; he does it all. You can take a look at a random scene from the show and be sure that he’s hopelessly stuck. That’s when he surprises the viewers with his brilliance and a couple of smart monologues. In fact, that’s when he delivers his best monologues. Again, here is the link to a set of those monologues – Your Evil Alter Ego.