How SWOT Analysis Could Have Saved Game of Thrones Jon Snow

How SWOT Analysis Could Have Saved Game of Thrones Jon Snow

The Season 5 finale of Game of Thrones had me rethinking the lessons I’ve learned from Jon Snow about leadership.  Leaders set direction, create vision, empower and inspire people to want to achieve that vision, and enable change with effective strategy.

Jon Snow’s rise from the black sheep of his family to Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch was possible because of his bravery, accountability, agile leadership and strategic focus.

However, like many leaders, Snow became so focused on external threats that he failed to notice a primary internal weakness—he had never really earned trust and will of his own people.

swot analysis game of thrones

SWOT analysis helps leaders at every level to take a comprehensive look at helpful and harmful forces outside and inside organizations; analyzing internal strengths, weaknesses and external opportunities or threats makes it possible to know what to do when you don’t know what to do. In Snow’s case, it could have helped him anticipate the mutiny and possibly live another day.

The leadership lesson here is this: invest time getting to know people on the front lines of your organization. Ask open questions and listen to how they really feel about their work, your customers and your business. When building strong relationships becomes as important as setting strategic direction, we can all be better more purposeful leaders.

If only Game of Thrones had done a crossover episode with Silicon Valley. Jon could have learned from Jared’s deep love SWOT and he’d still be alive today.


Jennifer Albrecht, Vice President of Professional Development, has been teaching and consulting with Learn iT! since 1997. Since joining Learn iT!, Jennifer has built and facilitated all of Learn iT!’s Professional Development classes including Communication, Leadership, Negotiating and Decision Making.

Jennifer strongly believes in Learn iT!’s 8 Step Model for Learning and applies it in all of the classes she builds and facilitates. Further information on the 8 Step Model can be found here.