How Business Development is like Game of Thrones: Part 4, the Finale

As I asserted the last three articles, roughly two months after the season finale aired of Game of Thrones, I still can’t help but see similarities between the cutthroat environment of the show and the world of business development. The show is about a web of alliances and conflicts among the various parties involved—all of whom are seeking to gain control and power.

Within the world of business development, it is much the same. Various companies are competing against one another for work—each wanting to gain more and more control and power over their sector(s). Within these organizations, individuals are similarly fighting for power and control—some with the company’s interest at heart, and others looking out only for themselves. And within this world, we develop a web of partners and competitors—both at the individual and corporate levels.

In the last three articles, I looked at 12 Game of Thrones favorites, drawing parallels to the types of individuals we might come across in our line of business: Peter Baelish, Cersei Lanister, Jon Snow, Brienne of Tarth, Samwell Tarly, Sansa Stark, Jorah Mormont, Arya Stark, Tyrion Lanister, Yara Greyjoy, Jaime Lannister, and Daenerys Targaryen. I noted the pros and cons associated with each personality, and discussed how best to approach these individuals in the workforce. This week I’ll conclude this mini-series with a similar analysis of four more fan favorites:
  • Eddard “Ned” Stark
  • Margaery Tyrell
  • Davos Seaworth
  • Ygritte.

Eddard "Ned" Stark

Game of Thrones Character Analysis. Eddard "Ned" Stark is characterized by virtue, loyalty, and honor. He prioritizes his family and never stops trying to protect them. He’s a principled man who tries to hold things together among a corrupt world. However, he finds himself making moral and practical compromises to achieve a just end. Ultimately, his loyalty causes his downfall.

Myers-Briggs Personality Type. Ned’s Myers-Briggs personality type is ESFJ, falling into the category of the Generous Leader. Individuals with preferences for ESFJ tend to be sociable and outgoing. They understanding what others need and express genuine appreciation for their contributions. They collect the necessary facts to help them make a decision and enjoy defining helpful procedures.

These individuals work best in an environment that fosters a family-like and harmonious atmosphere. They enjoy interacting closely with customers and colleagues and communicating the value of a product, service, or project. They are often the rule makers and rule followers. They tend to help others by providing immediate, practical support.

BD Personality: The Friendly Small Business Director of Business Development. The family-like, harmonious culture is ideal for a Ned Stark type personality. He demonstrates the necessary leadership skills to guide his small team in achieving great successes. His strategic relationships with both teammates and competitors will further support a thriving business. Ned is a friendly and sociable leader who is very easy to work with. He is sometimes too trusting, however, which may enable other companies to beat him out in the strategy game. However, despite this one downfall, he is a great asset to his company.

Margaery Tyrell

Game of Thrones Character Analysis. Margaery Tyrell is characterized by her shrewdness, ambition, and adaptability. Self-aware and quick-witted, she uses her beauty, generosity, and family influence to secure power for herself. She tends to look out for the needs of others, instead of looking out for only the needs of herself. She is subtle and graceful, and also manipulative, but not necessarily in a bad way. She knows what a true leader should do and often uses her cunning to achieve these means.

Myers-Briggs Personality Type. Margaery’s Myers-Briggs personality type is ENFJ, falling into the category of the Passionate Leader. Individuals with ENFJ preferences are able to get the most out of teams by working closely with team members and make decisions that respect and take into account the impact on others. As leaders, they tend to be adept at building consensus and inspiring others. Individuals with ENFJ preferences enjoy helping others develop new skills, structure their time, and meet deadlines. They work best in an environment that promotes collaboration and harmony, especially in working toward shared goals. They also want to support the long-term development of individuals and their team.

BD Personality: The Crafty Head of Proposals. Margaery’s ability to build consensus and inspire teams to work cooperatively and meet deadlines makes her an ideal head of proposals. She knows how to get what she needs out of her teams and other proposal contributors. She is a well-liked and effective leader that works to develop the long-term potential of her employees. She dislikes working in uncooperative environments, so she will be quick to remove team members who are disrupting the group harmony.

Davos Seaworth

Game of Thrones Character Analysis. Ser Davos Seaworth is characterized by his fierce loyalty and unvarnished honesty. He is passionate and sensitive. He tries always to be honest, speaking his mind instead of saying what others want to hear. Because he was once a notorious smuggler, most lords look him down upon him.

Myers-Briggs Personality Type. Ser Davos’s Myers-Briggs personality type is ISFP, falling into the category of the Sensitive Leader. Individuals with ISFP preferences enjoy providing practical help or service to others. They hold strong values and prefer work that is personally meaningful. They like to work in an environment with supportive co-workers who care about one another and may shy away from outright competition. They enjoy working in a supportive environment where their attention to detail is valued and they have the opportunity to work independently.

BD Personality: The Thoughtful Production Manager. Ser Davos’s personality makes him thrive in an environment with supportive co-workers with little outright competition. He would be a strong production manager, working as a team to finalize the proposals and get them ready for delivery. In this role, his strong attention to detail is highly valued and appreciated. He is loyal, easy to work with, and honest. He is a critical component of the proposal team.


Game of Thrones Character Analysis. Ygritte is characterized by her fierceness, courage, and stubbornness. She is quick-witted, wild, and headstrong. She is well skilled in survival and staunchly loyal. Strong and passionate, she is extremely skilled and precise in her art. Despite her tough exterior, we quickly learn that she has a softer side and a rather big heart.

Myers-Briggs Personality Type. Ygritte’s Myers-Briggs personality type is ESTP, falling into the category of the Fearless Leader. Individuals with ESTP preferences motivate others by bringing energy into each situation. They apply common sense and experience to problems, quickly analyzing what is wrong and then fixing it. These individuals enjoy taking risks, managing crises, and putting out fires. They work best when surrounded by active, task-oriented people in an environment that is immediate, fast-paced, and focused on the project.

Individuals with ESTP preferences are often hyper-aware of their immediate environment and will usually choose to act on the most logical and efficient option in the present moment. Together with their desire to be accurate, precise, data driven, and efficient, as well as getting to the point, these individuals can scan the environment quickly and jump into immediate action. They are talented multitaskers, with the ability to move seamlessly from one task to the next, doing what seems most expedient and efficient.

BD Personality: The Fierce Capture Lead. She motivates and energizes her team, providing decisive solutions to resolve problems quickly when necessary. She seamlessly juggles the necessary tasks and fires to manage the team successfully. Sometimes she may seem a bit tough and rigid, but then she shows us a softer side that makes us want to like her. Stay focused on delivering the win, and you should have no problems working with Ygritte.

Final Thoughts
I know I am late to the game with posting this analysis, but I hope you have enjoyed this fun little article series, regardless. I am curious: were you surprised by the Business Development roles I assigned to any of these characters? Do you recognize any of them in your own companies or experiences? I’d love to hear from you! Cheers!

Written by Ashley Kayes, CP APMP
Senior Proposal Consultant, AOC Key Solutions, Inc. (KSI)


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