7 Business Lessons by Frank Underwood


Love him or hate him, but you cannot ignore him.  Frank Underwood, is a character brought to life by Kevin Spacey in the popular drama series, House of Cards. He can teach you a lot about handing a business, here take a look.

1. Thinking Long Term

Frank Underwood is not afraid to take some short term hits for his long term goal. You should also think about your long term goals and decide where you want to be in the long run. Think about it, in the first season if Frank had got the position he wanted, would he then not strive to be the president. He said, “Run the marathon, not the sprint.” To build a successful and large business you would need the qualities of an endurance runner, which would mean that you would need to perform constantly over a long period of time. Frank always had an end goal in mind and so should you.

2. Working harder than the rest

Rise and shine. That’s right, get up before everyone else or sleep after everyone else has.  Talent and money can fail, but hard work is something that stays. Frank Underwood worked day and night to get where he is now.  Through the seasons we see him working late and sometimes even from his home. Even after becoming the president, he went into the war zone to negotiate. Such hard work and dedication is often rewarded, perhaps showing a form of justice in the laws of nature.

3. Do what’s necessary

In the pilot, we see Frank killing a dog that is hurt, with his own bare hands. At first you might think that was cruel, but what you have to understand here is that, he did it so the dog suffered a less painful death. There will be times when you would have to take hard decisions. Very hard decisions. For your company’s survival you might have to lay people off or move into a different city and tackle a new market.  Such things are hard to do, but they are necessary when time calls it. As long as it’s not off the moral compass, do what you have to do.

4. Read the fine print

Don’t get into any business arrangement or contract without knowing the details. Often the fine print says the opposite to what the bold letters say. If you are careful, nobody will dare to cheat or dupe you. In a world where the signature is as sacred as a blood vow, you will be protected as long as you are vigilant. If you analyse Frank Underwood you would see that he is always observant to things going around him, metaphorically he is always reading the fine print. When President Walker was getting closer to a business man named Raymond Tusk than him, he read between the lines while they were having a conversation. He accessed and slowly eliminated the danger and so should you.

5. Negotiations

Negotiations are a fact of life yet statistically 87% per cent people are scared of going for it. But not Frank. It is now time to learn from the King of negotiations, Frank Underwood. Remember how he always goes for negotiation with a plan of attack. When he was rammed to make a quick decision, his genius was shown when he said, “I never make such big decisions so long after sunset and so far from dawn.” This showed how you should take your time before making any major decisions. Other than this always carry information and know exactly what the second party wants. Try knowing the second party’s Achilles Heel.

6. Know yourself

Yes, it’s great help to know the ins and outs of your competition,  but the greatest strength comes from knowing yourself, your company and both your strengths and weaknesses.  It’s not ideal to hold over the top high ideals and not end up not reaching them. Know your capabilities and be a step ahead of your nearest competitor.  Remember how Frank Underwood was always ahead of Raymond Tusk, in the famous scene where Raymond and Frank were at a BBQ  joint, Frank made Raymond  lose all his wits and surrender. Such politics and negotiation is almost impossible without knowing your own self and what side to attack with and what not to expose.

7. Building the perfect team

A leader has an obligation to be there for his team. If you understand this concept right, as a business owner you will find people going the extra mile because of how you treat them. Frank Underwood never leaves the back of Claire and Doug and they in turn take him to his glorious presidential office. Don’t surround yourself with yes men who would do everything you want, you want to have men who will occasionally tell you where you are going wrong. You might be the best of the best but an informed opinion might just be better.

There is a lot you can learn from this Netflix TV series. If you know of any other business lessons by Frank Underwood, leave them down in the comments section.

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