Succession is a hit HBO show about the conflict between Roy’s family and who will take over Logan Roy’s company.
And while this show is meant to entertain you rather than teach you, the show does teach you some great rules about business.
It doesn’t matter whether you own a Fortune 500 company or not; these fifteen rules will help make running your business better.
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
1 – Don’t Confuse Your Financial Wealth With Your Legacy
Logan Roy, the father and founder of Waystar RoyCo Inc, is a flawed man.
What becomes clear from the moment we see him is that he puts ambition over everything.
And that leads to a problem.
Logan focuses on his legacy the most and tends to bind it with his financial wealth.
However, doing that isn’t the best thing. That’s because preserving your legacy should be as important as providing your family opportunities to thrive.
Instead of being like him, you should separate the two and treat them differently.
2 – Don’t Expect That Your Children Will Take Over Your Business
In successful entrepreneurs’ families, many want their children to take over their businesses. In their minds, this helps their children thrive in life without having to go through the painful journey to the top.
However, that’s something you shouldn’t do.
That’s because each person is different and has different aspirations for life, even if they are of the same blood. So instead of doing that, it’s best to ask early from them if they’d like to take over.
If they say no, you should then look within your company and see who’s the best candidate.
3 – Make Your Financial Wealth Serve Your Family
In the show, Logan Roy wants to stay in power.
And for this, he refuses to step back and let someone else take the reins. And that makes his financial wealth ruin his family instead of serving them.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, you shouldn’t let wealth ruin your family. Instead, you should find ways financial wealth could serve your family and give them opportunities to thrive.
4. Fear and Distrust are bad motivators
In the show, Logan Roy has built his wealth over decades of hard work. He got there by putting ambition over everything, like compassion and kindness, even with his family.
And while that might have worked for him in the past, in the show, we can see how flawed his point of view is.
Fear and distrust aren’t great motivators. Because of this, Logan has to battle many problems, like Kendall’s hostile takeovers and more.
Instead of doing that, you should be a better leader and achieve the following traits.
5. Collaboration is Critical for Success
In Succession, we constantly see Roy’s family argue. Each one stands their ground and doesn’t want to make changes, so the business could thrive.
And that’s something you don’t want to do.
That’s because, in the real world, no one will see true success without the help of others. Instead of arguing and not making any changes to your plan, you should instead look for ways how you can collaborate.
That will make becoming successful so much faster.
6. Never let emotions control your judgment
It’s okay to be emotional sometimes.
However, one thing you should never do is let those emotions control your judgment. That leads to making bad decisions that will backfire sooner or later.
Take Logan Roy, for example. His actions are primarily rooted in his emotions and the need to stay in power. And that has cost him constant family conflicts.
So instead of making the same mistakes, you should learn to control your emotions and not let them influence your judgment.
7. Learn to become adaptable
Nowadays, the world changes quickly.
So to stay competitive, good leaders must be able to adapt their plans rapidly to keep up with the times. Unfortunately, that cannot be said about Logan Roy.
As mentioned multiple times, Logan Roy desires to stay in power for a little longer. And while that brings him joy, it’s something he should give up.
From the first episode of Succession, we see that he battles with a severe health condition.
And that threatens his company from going down. He should understand that he isn’t fit to lead and step down before anything terrible happens again.
8. Be Open-Minded and Listen
Mistakes are what make us humans!
We should always stay open-minded and listen to other perspectives to make the best decisions.
And the Succession episode named “Which Side Are You On?” helps to show why this is so important.
In the episode, we see a vote of no confidence against Logan.
To work, Kendall and Roman Roy need to convince the board members to side with them to get the majority. Everyone advised him not to do that, but he didn’t listen.
And he makes a mistake – he didn’t think it through, he didn’t make sure he provided the right incentive to anyone who voted against Logan. And it went terribly wrong.
9. Have Great Communication
Apart from nurturing relationships, another thing that would have avoided all the drama is communication. Unfortunately, no one could communicate with each other and solve the problems.
That led to many conflicts as everyone stood their ground and wasn’t willing to adapt.
So instead of having the same problem, you should ensure that you and all your team members have excellent communication.
That way, you can solve each problem quickly and keep growing your business.
10. Be Authentic
Kendall Roy, Logan’s son, feels he is the natural pick for taking over the business. For this, he does a lot to achieve his goal.
However, he has one flaw in his plan – he’s inauthentic and weak.
And those words aren’t something that a leader needs. A good leader is both strong and authentic.
They know when they’re wrong and are willing to admit it. But these traits are not seen in Kendall.
11. Successors Must Earn The Right to Lead
The main plot of this show is about the issues with choosing a successor to the company.
And the big problem is that not one of the children is fit to lead. That has partly to do with how Logan raised his children.
He gave them everything they could dream of and made them feel entitled to run the business, especially Kendall Roy. For them, it’s more of a birthright than earned through hard work.
So instead, Logan should have raised them to earn the right to lead, not the other way around. Therefore, when it’s time for you to pick a successor, make sure you have the candidates prove their worth.
12. Have an Emergency Transfer Plan Thought Through
As you get older, it’s more likely that something might happen to you that makes you unfit to lead your team. So for this, it’s crucial to have an emergency transfer plan thought out so that when the time comes, the business can run without you.
And we can see what happens if this isn’t done in the first episode of “Succession.” In this episode, we see Logan suffer a severe health issue that put him in a coma. And since a clear successor wasn’t announced, the whole company went into chaos.
Fortunately, Logan came out of it, but it shows how weak his business is without him.
Instead of making the same mistake, you should have an emergency transfer plan ready, so this won’t happen to your company.
13. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Weaknesses
One of the many flaws of today’s education system is that schools punish us for having any weaknesses.
While that might sound great, the most successful ones don’t put a lot of energy into them. Instead, they bet on their strengths, which gives them an unfair advantage.
And the same thing can be seen in the HBO show. There, we see that every character has their own set of strengths. For example, Siobhan leverages her intelligence and persuasion to become the CEO.
And while the next CEO hasn’t yet been decided, focusing on strengths lets, you become more successful. So try to do that as well!
14. Nurture Strong Relationships
A lot of the issues in the show come from Logan Roy himself. One of his most significant flaws is how he treats his family.
Since he has put ambition above everything, he hasn’t been a great father to his children. That has led him into constant battles with his family and his children, trying to take over his company by force.
However, if he had been more caring and nurtured relationships with his children, all problems could have been avoided. So try to do the same with your team and family.
15. Sooner or Later, All Secrets Will Come to Light
In this show, every character hides their secrets.
And while that helps the show to be more attractive, it tells us a valuable lesson – all secrets will be uncovered someday. And when they do, they invariably backfire.
The best thing to do is stay transparent instead of keeping secrets. That way, you won’t have to worry about the problems that come with it.
So, what were the results?
Logan fired half of his board members!
While Logan might have felt bad about this vote happening, he should have been open-minded about him. He hired them for a reason, so instead of firing them, he should have listened and considered what they said.
And those were the fifteen lessons from HBO’s show succession.
While it’s a dark comedy show, some valuable pieces of nuggets are hidden in them.
Don’t let these lessons collect dust on your brain, make sure you act on them.
And watch Succession if you haven’t yet, it’s filled with lessons like these throughout.