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If Jon Snow can master this most important leadership skill, he might just win 'Game of Thrones'

Bruce Craven, Contributor

There are an infinite number of possibilities as to how "Game of Thrones" will end tonight, but if Jon Snow can learn from Daenerys' mistakes and bring all of his leadership skills to the table, he might just rule the Iron Throne.

Daenerys' decision to immolate the lives of many innocent people proved the ineffectiveness of leading with fear. Snow has made strong leadership choices in the past; he has failed and he has succeeded.

But now, if he wants to protect his people, he must confront Daenerys and prove he has the most important skill required to be a good leader: Emotional intelligence.

The are four essential elements of emotional intelligence that Snow must master:

  • Self-awareness : The ability to understand one's own emotions and how it affects the people around them
  • Self-management : The ability to stay calm and in control when faced with chaos
  • Social-awareness : The ability to communicate effectively with others and resolve conflicts diplomatically
  • Relationship-management : The ability to help others reach their highest potential, give constructive feedback and demonstrate true empathy

It's impossible to know how the series will end, but I have faith that Snow will harness the power of emotional intelligence and guide the remaining leaders in defeating their enemies. While he has always been resistant to the idea of claiming the Iron Throne, Snow does have the natural ability to lead with his heart, and that's the type of ruler Westeros needs most.

Bruce Craven teaches the popular MBA elective Leadership Through Fiction at Columbia Business School. He is also the author of "Win or Die: Leadership Secrets from Game of Thrones," and has watched all episodes of the hit HBO show three times. He studied politics and literature at the University of California at Santa Cruz and has an MFA in writing from Columbia University's School of the Arts.

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