Cersei Lannister Leadership Style

Cersei Lannister presented a lot of power in the entire season of the franchise. In fact, she never showed any soft side to anyone aside her family and her leadership style has a very threatening atmosphere.

In this post, I am going to break down her ‘leadership’ style. I put those quotation marks because she is not a leader but a boss. Keep in mind that there will lot of spoilers and I will only be discussing the powerful scenes.

Brief Introduction, Autocratic leaders are the bossy type of people. They take no desires to listen and are usually in power because of their position. They will disregard the feelings of others and make followers follow them.

Cersei’s leadership has already sparked a lot of war between houses. She made her decisions based on her own interest and there is no desire to help. The discussions below will tell you why.


1. Stands Firm To Own Decision

Cersei was full on bossy. She would tell people what to do and do not care what others think of her or her decisions just because she is Queen.

From the very beginning, she would dismiss people and would express what she believed is right to her. I find her first behavior of bossy when she ordered the killing of Arya’s wolf Nymeria, after the wolf bit Joffrey. Robert Baratheon, Ned, Arya, and Sansa Stark was trying to convince them otherwise, but still, Cersei wants the wolf killed.

She also clearly stated that anyone is not the Lannister family are the enemies. Therefore, she openly suggested that all houses are her enemies, which she put Starks in as well even when their houses are allies. This already implies that she does not trust anyone at all and would not listen to them no matter.

Cersei tearing the paper that contained that Ned should be the next King in line instead of Joffrey.

In the scene here, Cersei did not care whether the King said that Joffrey should be King when he is older.

That letter contained the final words of Robert Baratheon, the dying King. Instead of abiding his words, she tore the paper apart and was still firm that Joffrey should be King.

Here she stands firm with her judgment and claims Ned a traitor to the King.

This is a threatening method which Autocratic leaders generally do. They threaten their subordinates until they no longer feel safe. In fact, this is a true game of power here. The atmosphere of ‘don’t mess with me’ is in the very verge of ‘kill them’.

In real life, it may be true to stand firm to your belief. In fact, most leaders do this in order to achieve their goals. However, this will backfire because autocratic leaders rarely take inputs of others, which is why usually decision making is fast.

They are the people who would take little to no desires in listening to people but make followers listen to them. Now generally, if we force people to listen to us, they will do the opposite….until she uses threats.


2. Using Threats To Spark Fear In Others

Cersei used this a lot. Even to her own allies. She did not care who worked with her as long as they obeyed her. If anybody would question her decisions, she will ensure that that person will pay.

Cersei proving to Little Finger that knowledge is not power.

In this scene, Little Finger (Lord Baelish) just stepped on a dangerous boundary when talking to Cersei.

Cersei was mocking him on how she knew about Little Finger’s love interest on Catelyn Stark.

He then countered those words on how he knew about the affair Cersei had with her own brother (for those who don’t watch Game of Thrones, there’s incest).

After that, Little Finger ends it with knowledge is power. As we can see here, argumentatively, Little Finger won. However, he forgot who was in power. Cersei then ordered her guards to cut his throat but told them to stop. What Cersei was trying to say is that “you forget who really is in power here.”


3. No Desire To Listen To Others

These leaders will barely listen to others. In fact, in most of their meeting discussions, the one who will make the decision will be that leader and that the rest must follow. They will shut down on any conversations if they felt that it is against their judgment.

Cersei telling Jon to pledge loyalty to her.

There are other scenes that showed Cersei not listening to others, but this scene showed it a lot. She attended a meeting between the houses of important leaders.

Jon informed about the White Walkers and tried to persuade House Lannister to offer their help to fight as well. Cersei would agree if Jon would pledge his loyalty to her. However, Jon confessed that he had already pledged loyalty to Daenerys. Upon hearing that, Cersei left and offered no help.

In here, everyone has already seen the white walkers. It is right in front of their eyes. But still, Cersei did not want to help. She gave no desire at all and would rather stay Queen instead of risking her armies against the dead. Even with full proof, why did she still not want to help?

These type of leaders are usually raised in a lap of luxury already. Their biggest trait is ego. They will not be involved in very risky decisions unless something is threatening their pride, which in this case, Cersei’s pride diminished when Jon declined to bend the knee to her.

They also show the behavior of ‘do you know who I am’. They have no empathy towards others, and they only have followers because of their power.


4. Using Power As Advantage

Because of their high status, it is easy to make decisions without people questioning them. They do not even have to reward their followers because they said so. This type of behavior is a very dictatorship.

From all discussed above, her power is the biggest advantage to all of this. In fact, she wouldn’t be able to have all those three trait marks if it weren’t for her power status. All the previous behaviors discussed above also lead back to this. Power.

Cersei choses violence

Though this is the aftermath of what I will discuss next, her pose here already brought her power back. Previously, she lost power after she was arrested for incest and the murder of Robert Baratheon.

After that, she rose back to power by having The Mountain, the strongest of her guard, to protect her and ordered the burning of Sept to the ground with Margaery Tyrell, the wife of her son Tommen. She did this to tell the world because she can. She can do this because she is queen and no one can stop her.

Everything about this kind of leadership is all about power and pride. Usually, this kind of leadership is not practiced aside from military or crucial situations. Cersei was able to pull this leadership because she is the queen of the 7 kingdoms….for now. Her actions already sparked a war between houses, and now two houses are up for her head if it weren’t for the White Walker problem.


In conclusion

I would not recommend this type of leadership, especially to young leaders. This type is only pulled out when they must. If you notice, it showed no growth advantages at all.

Cersei may still sit on the Iron Throne, but there were no other advantages aside killing people. It only drives your ego up and no learning to work with people. This type of leadership will be an open door to a rebellion.

When it comes to growth, Daenerys gave the best example. She came with nothing, and innocent. Six seasons later, she has Unsulllied, Dothrakis, and three full-grown dragons and the help from Jon Snow. You can check out my analysis of her leadership here:

I hope you learn something from here and I will see you in the next post.