Friday, May 2, 2014


I have been watching the new TV show Vikings and in the next to last episode, the king seems to have suborned all of Ragnar’s followers. I was ready to give it up as a dog-eat-dog the winner is the one who stabbed the most friends and followers in the back clone.

Imagine my surprise when SPOILER ALERT they all remained loyal to Ragnar!

Why did the writers end this season in that way? I’m not sure why they chose to tell the story in this way but they had really set this up with his character from the very first episode. Ragnar had been loyal and honest with all his associates.

Even his first wife who left him because he took a second wife – something that his culture permitted – came to his aid. She refused to “share him” but still respected his honor and integrity and saw him as the logical choice to lead the nation when the king tried to assonate Ragnar.

The moral of the story turned out to be that if you are loyal to your people and treat them with honor and honesty they will support and protect you when you need it; a lesson that most managers could stand to relearn.

Throwing your people under the bus to save yourself guarantees that when the time comes they will not put themselves in the slightest risk to save you!

There is no great concept here and nothing that takes a long time to explain. The simplest thing to do. Treat people the way you want to be treated and they will return that treatment. 

Not always or in every case but often enough that it really, really pays off in the long run.