5 Leadership Lessons One Could Take From The High Sparrow

[Contains major spoilers]

The last episode of the sixth season of the Game Of Thrones TV series saw the unfortunate demise of the High Sparrow, a character evoking strong emotions from the TV series’ numerous viewers. While many might be still recovering from the rude shock that the sudden blowing up of the Great Sept of Baelor foisted upon them, we chose to focus this week on the man who so artfully made the entire season about himself – The High Sparrow, played by Jonathan Pryce, whom we all recognize as the evil media baron Bond villain in Tomorrow Never Dies. It cannot be denied that the High Sparrow was a true leader of the people, ascending the political ladder with as much ease and swiftness as his dedication towards serving the people of King’s Landing.

Here, I have compiled a list of qualities that I think makes the High Sparrow a very capable leader – lessons that are equally important for working professionals aiming to be better managers and leaders. Read on!

1. Humble in garb and even in necessities

The High Sparrow Humble

Source: Popsugar

High Sparrow wasn’t always the astute, religious man we know him to be. Born to a cobbler, he perfected his craft over the years and became an expert, selling his intricately made shoes to the rich for a hefty price. He became quite wealthy in due course of time and used to through throw lavish parties that ‘ended in debauchery‘. Even though the High Sparrow was a party animal earlier – expending his riches in parties ‘that involved wine and women’, he decided to throw away his extravagant life and spent the rest of his years in a humble attire, consisting of only a petty gown, not even bothering to put on shoes of his own. Instead, he focused on helping the people of the realm. A leader who denounces excesses and leads an exemplary life naturally evokes the respect of those in the vicinity.

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2. A tendency to serve the kingdom by helping its people

High sparrow serving food

The High Sparrow serving food to the poor.

This first meeting between Queen Cersei and High Sparrow saw the latter ministering to the needs of the poor, by offering soup and bread to the needy ravaged by the excesses of a prolonged war. His most ardent followers, the members of the Faith Militant, went around distributing clothes and food to the destitute of King’s Landing. Under the High Sparrow’s influence, people became more mindful of the things that actually mattered – moving away from materialism and promotion of equality among the people. A good leader similarly serves his followers by making them focus on the things that actually matter.

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3. A charismatic personality adhering himself to the masses

game-thrones-high-sparrow-charismatic personality

Source: Hollywoodtake

A loquacious orator as well as an intelligent conversationalist, the High Sparrow exuded a certain charm that appealed to the masses that went along with the humility in his appearance. He preached abstinence from sins and strove to drive equality among people. In this manner, while the warring nobles of various houses seemed indifferent to people, the High Sparrow appeared humble, pious and wise, showing compassion for all people regardless of their background. Good leaders distinguish themselves from the bad ones through a winning personality.

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4. A true mentor

The high sparrow mentor margaery

The High Sparrow talking to Queen Margaery.

This quality was quite evident from the way the High Sparrow provided his able guidance and knowledge once Queen Margaery had confessed to her sins and immersed herself in the Faith. Being free, yet firm, the High Sparrow is able to transform a vehement Queen furious at being locked up to a faithful adherent of the Seven. Good leaders are able to bring such a transformation by mentoring their team mates.

Related article: 7 Ways To Mentor Effectively Within Your Hectic Management Schedule

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5. A Machiavellian strategist

The High Sparrow Machiavellian strategist

Source: Patrickgarone

Perhaps the most important aspect of all. The High Sparrow was quite an ambitious man, shrewd with his moves and alliances upon having gauged the political winds beforehand. The way in which he deftly had Queen Cersei thrown into a cell immediately after gaining a strong foothold in King’s Landing through her help illustrated his strict demeanor towards the ‘unfaithful’. He then wields his influence over the weak willed King Tommen, exploiting his emotions for his wife and mother to gain further advantage. Upon having converted Queen Margaery to adopt the faith, he sought to strengthen his presence within the King’s Landing by leveraging the Crown to spread the faith across the Seven Kingdoms. Such was his courage and confidence in himself that he didn’t bat an eyelid when Jaime Lannister threatened to cut him down. Leaders must be able to maneuver their way through politics and conspiracies to achieve their goals.

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That’s it from my side. If you think some other character from the Game Of Thrones makes for a better leader, do let us know in the comments sections below!

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