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Lessons I Learned From Binge-Watching HBO’s Succession

If you haven’t watched HBO’s smash hit show Succession, you’re missing out. Now in its third season, the popular HBO series focuses on the Roy family as they fight for control over the Waystar Royco media conglomerate. With the likes of Sarah Snook and Jeremy Strong, it’s no surprise the show has received various accolades including a Golden Globe for Best Television Series and a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. Although a corporate satirical-drama, with subtle moments of comic relief, the series is filled with multiple nuggets of wisdom. In my article, I will highlight some of the most prominent leadership lessons found in HBO’s Succession.

1. nurture relationships

Pinpoint your advantageous relationships and use them for your benefit. As members of the Roy family wrestle for power, it’s clear they can’t do it alone. For example, Kendall Roy needed advice from dodgy shareholders to launch a hostile takeover of Waystar Royco in the first season. Invest in relationships and network. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

2. stick to your guns

At its core, this series revolves around power. Be a Logan Roy. In acquiring PGM, he states with absolute confidence and clarity “…I’ll keep the brand, the editors, their people. Do you trust me? And will you tell them to trust me? Because when I say something will happen, that thing will happen.” Don’t let others sway your position.

3. adapt to change

If you watch the series, you’ll know of its unpredictable and impulsive plotline. With several acquisitions, hearings, and proxy battles, Wayster Royco is not untouched by melodrama. The Roy family is constantly adjusting to unforeseen events. One must be able to quickly react and adapt to changing circumstances.

4. success is an illusion

Do your research. Don’t let the charisma and ethos of a cooperation fool you into making unwise decisions. Slowly adjust to the climate and look at the optics.

5. use leverage

Find the Achilles heel and use it to your advantage. Logan Roy, the founder of Waystar Royco, and his children Kendall, Roman, Siobhan, and Conner each bring different strengths and weaknesses to the table. Each one of them weaponizes their strengths in becoming the next CEO of Waystar Royco.

6. appearance is everything

Fake it until you make it. Be a Kendall Roy. Walk into a board meeting with your air pods and green juice. Radiate with confidence and don’t walk into a situation unprepared.

Along with multiple lessons in navigating personal relationships and professional life, this show is unbelievably good. Give it a watch! You’ll thank me later.

Jordan is a sophomore at Purdue and majoring in History and German, along with a minor in Forensic Science. Originally from Indiana, she loves drinking chai lattes, playing tennis, binge-watching Netflix, and spending time with her golden-retriever dog, Beau.
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