Indian National Bar Association Delegates (INBA), Prominent U.S. Law Firms and Iconic India Jurist Ram Jethmalani Tackle Controversial Topics During Washington, DC and New York City Visits

June 22, 2015

Twenty INBA members based in India are now returning home to figure out next steps after many animated presentations and conversations in Washington and New York City last week, all topics swirling around growing speculation that India will soon open its doors further to expanding law practice by foreign lawyers.

A special meeting between a select INBA contingent and the American Bar Association (ABA) in Washington, DC also made headway, putting together an agenda, for increased cooperation between the ABA and INBA. INBA invited the ABA to cooperate in the opening of the two markets.

The two conferences and two receptions in both cities featured representatives from the US India Business Council (USIBC), former Law Minister Ram Jethmalani, INBA Secretary General Kaviraj Singh, N G Khaitan of Khaitan & Co., INBA General Counsel Section Chairman Shri Ram Ramaswamy and participating law firms including: Covington & Burling (sponsor), Hodgson Russ (sponsor), Dentons (sponsor), Crowell Morning, Pepper Hamilton (sponsor), Baker Hostetler, and a number of other counsel and business representatives, such as attorney and CEO of Capital Novus Dharmesh Singala, attorney James Duffy, CEO Gerard Chambers of GLC Business Services (sponsor), attorney Vishal Gandhi of Gandhi & Associates and Law Practice Advisory Group CEO Michael Blanchard. U.S. Congress and government officials were also present along with USIBC VP Diane Ferrell, who introduced the Washington conference.

Approximately one-hundred-and thirty attendees interacted in both cities to learn each other’s opinions and the latest about so-called “Black Money,” cross border law practice, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA), corruption, M & A, intellectual property issues and doing business in the U.S. and India.

The successful INBA delegation is the first of its kind and was coordinated by USIBC and Media & Communications Strategies (the INBA U.S. public relations and legal business exchange agency-of-record).

The most heated discussion during the conferences, which also attracted international news attention, was triggered by Mr. Jethmalani’s urging the US to assist India, and to bring back the significant amount of black money hidden at various overseas sheltered locations.

Jethmalani said the US has access to the information and lists of names of Indians who have black money in Swiss banks. Mr. Jethmalani congratulated the U.S.’s current efforts to prosecute black money tax evaders and said the U.S. should assist India by sharing the names of those Indian nationals involved in hiding money.

INBA’s Kaviraj Singh had a glowing evaluation of this first delegation and promises there will be more trips and activities that will encourage market penetration and legal interaction between the two countries. Mr. Singh also attended World Yoga Day activities in New York City at the special invitation of United Nations officials.

“INBA’s successful delegation conferences in New York and Washington prove that the two countries’ legal and business communities are very eager to expand their relationships and find mutually beneficial avenues for communicating to get business done. There is no doubt law firm client’s want these doors opened and we will find ways to follow client’s business interests,” said INBA’s Secretary General Kaviraj Singh.

A number of the U.S. law firm and business representatives at the conference promise to visit India, possibly during next November’s INBA Law Day event. U.S. and Indian business representatives at the conferences are in preliminary discussions now about market penetration and raising marketing and public relations visibility in both countries. Media & Communications Strategies, Inc. is facilitating those kinds of interactions Michael Blanchard, a law firm business strategy and management consultant with Law Practice Advisory Group LLC, will assist in this effort by providing US law firms with targeted development opportunities for transactional and institutional relationships to increase or enrich representation capabilities for clients who wish to invest or expand their presence in India business markets through access to pre-qualified India based law firms and legal services providers, as well as, connect US law firms with general counsel of India based corporations looking to invest or expand their industry sector presence in US markets, both regionally and nationally.


INBA Delegation and other panelists at Covington Burling law firm in Washington, DC


INBA’s Shri Ramaswamy and Hon. Ram Jethmalani present at Hodgson Russ law firm in New York City

Media & Communications Strategies, Inc. Selected to Represent the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS)

April 16, 2015

MAC Strategies is delighted to announce our representation of the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS). Established in 1980, the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) is an international trade association headquartered in the Washington, DC area. AAMS is a non-profit 501C (6) trade association that represents and advocates on behalf of our membership to enhance their ability to deliver quality, safe, and effective medical care and medical transportation for every patient in-need. AAMS is a dedicated team, committed to representing and advocating for the Air Medical and the Critical Care Ground Transport Industry and supporting our members who proudly serve their communities throughout the United States and around the world. 

Media & Communications Strategies President Scott Sobel says, "Our representation of AAMS underlines MAC Strategies commitment to providing expert and diverse communications support to various aviation industry sectors."

Indian National Bar Association Chooses Media & Communications Strategies for Public Relations Agency of Record in the U.S.

January 28, 2015

Public Relations Agency to Focus on Legal Education and Business Development

After extensive consideration, Indian National Bar Association Secretary General Kaviraj Singh announces the selection of Media & Communications Strategies, Inc. (MAC Strategies) as INBA's agency of record based in Washington, DC and coordinating INBA efforts for education and business development in the U.S., and worldwide.

MAC Strategies is a general services public relations agency with agents having represented some of the world's best-known law firms and clients. The agency has expertise in litigation PR, crisis communications, media and government relations, health care, technology, aviation, higher education, association representation and video production, among other capabilities.

INBA represents the entire Legal ecosystem in India and is dedicated to expand its 7,000 members' professional network and industry insight.

"Media & Communications Strategies will be the catalyst to launch INBA's efforts to expand it's brand for those law firms and clients who want to develop and exchange business and legal expertise between India, the U.S. and globally," said INBA's Mr. Singh.

"Our first action is to support an INBA delegation of notable legal, government and business representatives from India and member countries for a visit to Washington, DC and New York City. Information about this opportunity and news about INBA chapter's support will be forthcoming. Our agency is honored to be chosen by INBA," said MAC Strategies' Mr. Sobel. The agency is also tasked with helping Indian law firms, clients and businesses penetrate the U.S. market and U.S. law firms, clients and businesses penetrate the Indian market using news media, trade events and government relations.

MAC Strategies maintains a New Delhi office where Dewa Paljor, Esq. will coordinate contacts and business development inbound and outbound from India, U.S., globally.

Scott Sobel Quoted in Article

November 20, 2014

By Samantha Cole

What Motivates People To Break The Rules At Work?

A look at what drives workplace rule-breaking, and when they’re worth stopping or encouraging.

You probably know the employee who takes a stack of Post-It notes with him out the door every Friday afternoon. Or the one that takes an ample amount of sick days, but managed the strength to go to the football game.
What about the person who’s otherwise brilliant, but bends company policies to her will—and is promoted?

We’ve all told white lies in life, and at work. But what’s motivating workplace cheating, and when does it cross the line?

Who Breaks The Rules

It doesn’t take a genius to gloss over the rules and get away with it—just an outside-the-box mind. discovered that creativity, not intelligence, predicts dishonesty. The more creative someone is, the more easily they can justify their behavior and fabricate an excuse for pilfering those supplies or fudging a sick-day story.

Francesca Gino, coauthor with Dan Ariely of Duke University, describes part of the study in Psychology Today: Inducing a “casual” mindset, with cues that encouraged flexibitlity—with words like original, novel, and imaginative—increased the odds of cheating at a game. When a workplace culture is trying its best to be playful, with that Silicon Valley “startup bro” brand of chill, its odds of moral slip go up. What depends is whether the company is cool with that.

“Rules can be broken as long as you work for a company that is comfortable with disruption as a defining theme for growth,” says Roy Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide. Many of his clients were recruited by conservative companies for their potential to shake things up, he says, but once they got to work, weren’t welcome anymore. “I have found that change agents are never welcome by their colleagues, and that their ability to execute on a dynamic new strategy is blocked every step of the way.” They leave those companies feeling discouraged and misled.

Then there are the long-con rule breakers: Those who’ve spent years working their way up the corporate ladder while tearing down convention. In the rubble, some morality might fall, but they’re ultimately rewarded despite their bad behavior. If you’re bordering the kind of sociopathic rule-bending that makes other people say, “What were they thinking?” you probably don’t even realize it.

But if one of your employees shows that sort of behavior, it’s time to reign them in at the early signs. “When someone is described as ‘that guy who breaks all the rules, but he’ll eventually pay the piper,’ you can easily recognize an individual who is potentially setting themselves up for a big failure,” says Scott Sobel, former police and investigative reporter, and whose agency, Media & Communications Strategies, Inc. works in crisis communication. Little transgressions, Sobel says, might not have a victim now—but are probably still harming that person’s reputation at work and leading to a bigger problem. More “yes men” won’t help the issue.

Why Rules Are Broken

Those high-powered narcissist exceptions aside, most of the rule broken at work are minor and victimless. Little daily cheats without an immediately recognizable victim have a variety of causes.

It levels the playing field. If you’re quitting a job on bad terms, a pack of pens or set of notebooks might find their way out the door with you. “Getting even,” in virtually harmless ways, is one cause of rule-breaking. Similarly, it could be a competitive reflex: If everyone else in your department is padding their progress reports, you’ve lost an edge.

We’re curious. The need to “see what happens” makes us bend rules, says Ira Wolfe, President of Success Performance Solutions. “Moral resources may throttle back . . . but the curiosity is still alive.”

We’re impulsive. This can be a good or bad trait in your employees. “Some people make decisions only when all the facts are in and lined up,” says Wolfe. “Others rely on emotion and instinct.” Consider who you want on your team, what kinds of risks you’re willing to take, and where you’ll place them for maximum effect.

It’s bonding. Participating in a mildly naughty act at work, like stalking people on Facebook with coworkers when you’re supposed to be finishing a project, is a bonding moment. No one wants to be the one to blow the whistle, or thumb their nose up—so it’s easier to play the accomplice.

It makes us more creative. Sort of, according to Psychology Today. Feeling like you’re outside of the rules (a “cheater’s high,” the writer terms it) stimulates creativity, which, as we covered earlier, encourages more cheating.

[h/t: Psychology Today]

Scott Sobel Quoted in Fort Worth Star-Telegram Ebola Article

October 22, 2014 

When the Ebola crisis rocked Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, the new head of its corporate parent maintained a low profile, making few public comments and steering clear of the glare of TV lights.

Then Barclay Berdan, who had taken over as CEO just weeks before, on Sept. 1, issued a public apology in full-page ads in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Dallas Morning News on Sunday. Otherwise, he has dodged the media.

For decades, Berdan has been known as an accessible, well-liked hospital administrator in Fort Worth, where he opened Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest in 1986 and later spent 14 years at Harris’ main downtown complex, rising from chief operating officer to president.

In 1997, Harris merged with Presbyterian, another faith-based nonprofit operation, creating Arlington-based Texas Health Resources. Harris Methodist remains its biggest hospital, providing 19 percent of the system’s revenues, while Presbyterian in Dallas is the second-biggest, contributing 17 percent, according to THR’s financial filings.

Before September, the 25-hospital group had been riding high both in terms of reputation and performance. It reported 2013 revenues of $3.85 billion, resulting in an 8.3 percent operating margin — considered highly enviable in the nonprofit hospital world — up from 7.2 percent the year before, filings showed. (By comparison, Dallas-based Baylor Health Care System, now Baylor Scott & White, reported 2013 revenues of $4.1 billion with a 7.1 percent operating margin, up from 6.9 percent. A survey by Modern Healthcare magazine found the average operating margin of 200 hospitals in 2013 was 3.1 percent.)

“We will become the benchmark of quality, safety and customer experience that other health systems around the country want to emulate,” Berdan proclaimed in July when he was selected to succeed retiring CEO Doug Hawthorne, who had run THR since the merger.

Anne T. Bass, a member of the Fort Worth family of billionaire philanthropists who headed the search committee as THR’s board chairman, called Berdan “a forward-thinking visionary with a personally engaging leadership style.”

Then Thomas Eric Duncan came to Presbyterian’s emergency department, throwing Texas Health into an unflattering spotlight.

Numerous healthcare and crisis PR experts predict that the hospital chain will survive the self-acknowledged lapses arising from the treatment and death of the uninsured, 42-year-old visitor from Liberia who was sent home with inappropriate medicine after saying he had been in Africa and after his temperature had spiked at 103.

Duncan would return in an ambulance two days later and die a few days after being admitted. Two nurses who treated him during his stay at the hospital would contract the virus and are being treated at hospitals in Bethesda, Md., and Atlanta.

Managing the fallout

Analysts are still trying to assess the damage from Presbyterian’s errors in sending Duncan back into the community and improperly protecting its staff. What’s clear is that the public fallout has been pronounced.

“If I had an accident at the intersection in front of Presbyterian, I would ask to be taken to Denton,” said Andrew Reyes, a Coppell resident who works in Irving as a physical trainer.

Ann Alexander of Dallas has been going to Presbyterian since it opened in 1963, and gave birth there. She was back on Monday for a follow-up visit with her doctor, returning without qualms. “I think they made mistakes but they’re putting them behind them,” she said.

But asked if she would be treated by its emergency department, Alexander said she’d have to think about it.

“It definitely has had an impact. There have been a significant number of cancellations,” said Dr. Jay Staub, an OB/GYN specialist who practices at Presbyterian’s Margot Perot Building some distance from the emergency department.

“Many people are calling for advice and we’re trying to talk them off the ledge.”

Staub tells patients that the Ebola cases were isolated, “that you can’t get Ebola if it’s not in the neighborhood.”

The father of one patient scheduled for a Caeserean section delivery offered to pay all costs if his daughter went to any other hospital, but she decided to stay at Presbyterian, Staub said. Another patient told a member of his practice that she was ordered by her employer not to return to work if she kept an office visit at Presbyterian.

“It’s panic, unsubstantiated by science, just irrational panic,” the physician said. He insists that 90 percent of U.S. hospitals would have performed the same as Presbyterian: “Very few have had training; I know this for a fact. It’s a shame that Presby became Ground Zero, and everyone is going to learn from what happened here.”

Staub blames Texas Health Resources for much of the damage to the hospital’s reputation.

“The hospital has done a pretty terrible job from a damage control, PR point of view,” Staub said.

‘A textbook example’

Even after it brought in crisis PR consultants from a national firm, Burson-Marsteller, the hospital group has kept the media at arm’s distance, answering few direct questions while promoting a self-congratulatory Twitter campaign called “#PresbyProud.

Dr. Daniel Varga, THR’s chief clinical officer and senior executive vice president, has done selected interviews in the past week after apologizing during testimony before a Congressional panel. And on Monday, in an example of the curious PR offensive, three nurses read public statements of support for THR but did not take questions.

Amiso George, who teaches strategic communications at Texas Christian University, wondered whether a “siege mentality” embraced THR as it grappled with a crisis bigger than anything it had ever dealt with. That said, “the apology should have come quickly. It goes a long way to assuage, in this case, feelings by the Duncan family and their supporters that Duncan was treated differently. Perception is reality.”

“This was a textbook example of how not to handle crisis communications, and I’m sure PR classes will be studying this for years,” said Gail Cooksey, a Las Colinas-based PR consultant who has worked with North Texas companies for decades.

Cooksey rattled off THR’s missteps: “They did not have consistent messaging. They had no central spokesperson. They kept changing their story, which sounded like they were covering up. They didn’t talk to the media directly but instead relied on issuing statements. And they did not issue an apology until … almost three weeks later.

“I do believe the [Dallas] mayor and county judge did a good job of handling things, but the hospital should have been center stage and they weren’t. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen the president or CEO of the hospital in any of the coverage. Every day went from bad to worse.”

Even more silent was Emergency Medicine Consultants, the Fort Worth-based firm that contracts to provide emergency room physicians at Presbyterian, Harris Methodist and numerous other facilities in the group. Although Berdan’s apology said Presbyterian’s emergency department did not correctly diagnose Duncan’s symptoms, EMC has issued no public statement. A call from the Star-Telegram was not returned.

The financial impact

Also worrisome is the impact the Ebola cases may have on THR’s creditworthiness.

On Friday, Moody’s Investors Service revised its outlook on the group, which has $1.1 billion of debt, from positive to “developing,” noting a high degree of uncertainty about its financial performance in the Ebola crisis.

Over the next few months, “the Ebola event could result in short- or long-term harm to the hospital’s finances and reputation,” Moody’s analyst Lisa Goldstein said in an email. “While the overall THR system is fiscally sound and can absorb a short-term negative financial impact, the uncertainty and developing outlook will depend on any long-term impact or additional Ebola-related developments.”

In August, Moody’s had just upgraded THR from “stable” to “positive.” The hospital group’s Aa3 rating, Moody’s fourth-highest level, reflected its leading market position in a highly competitive, 16-county service area of about 6.8 million people. Commenting before the Ebola crisis, Moody’s said the “strong and innovative” THR leadership has implemented strategies focused on growth, quality and efficiencies, and demonstrated an ability to generate strong operating margin of 8.3 percent and operating cash flow margin of 14.7 percent.

THR has spent millions on advertising, promotions and signage linking its hospitals under the Texas Health brand, including some ads using voice-overs by Hollywood star John Cusack. The question now is whether the lavish co-branding effort will hurt other units not involved in the Ebola mess — such as Fort Worth’s Texas Health Harris Methodist.

“It can’t help but have some spill [over],” said Paige Hendricks, a Fort Worth PR consultant. “THR has worked so hard over the years to consolidate the brand for Texas Health, it may be hard to extricate one from another and/or differentiate now, though many still refer to the individual hospital by their original names (Harris, Presby etc.).”

Others were not so sure. A professor who teaches in a hospital MBA program in the region, who was forbidden by his university to speak publicly about THR, discounted any ripple effect.

“I don’t think many people even know Presby is in same hospital system as the one they go to,” he said. Although the professor said he heard the number of surgeries at Presbyterian had dropped precipitously, he predicted that the downturn would end up as only a “blip” in a month from now — “unless the crisis keeps going.”

Another PR consultant, Lake Forest, Ill.-based Lynda O’Connor, insists that Texas Health Presbyterian “has been damaged beyond repair.” Her solution? “The hospital should be sold, renamed, updated, and staffed with experts who will train everyone who works there.”

‘We can control it’

Texas Health Resources has declined to say how hospital admissions have been affected by the crisis, to answer a number of other questions or to make Berdan available for an interview.

Berdan, a TCU graduate who got an MBA from the University of Chicago, was recruited by Harris Methodist’s then chief, Ron Smith, to become vice president for administration at its new hospital in southwest Fort Worth. Four years later, he was was transferred to the downtown campus of Harris Methodist, where the Klabzuba Cancer Center, the Bloxom Critical Care Tower and the heart center were completed during his tenure.

“He absolutely exudes a quiet confidence,” said Mary Kathryn Anderson, a board member of Fort Worth South when Berdan served as president of the nonprofit development group. “On a Sister Cities trip to Budapest in 1996, he very calmly and magically managed a group of 150.”

Seeing Berdan’s apology in the Star-Telegram, Anderson said, “felt like a sense of relief that Barclay was taking charge. I don’t think it came too late.”

But until his public apology, Berdan wasn’t seen or heard during the Ebola crisis.

“He should have been out there,” said Cooksey, the Las Colinas PR consultant. “The CEO should be addressing the public. Instead they had Varga. They apparently thought they could contain it, or, ‘We can control it,’ but that never happens. They had every opportunity to do something right, and they kept issuing statements instead of coming out to answer questions.”

And an apology is not enough, said Scott Sobel, a crisis PR consultant in Washington.

“Apologies and firing administrative staff are warranted and even expected by the public,” Sobel said. “But in this day of sometimes shallow corporate and political apologies, the person or institution needs to show concrete change that leads to tangible improvements or the public will not be convinced the apologetic action is sincere and meaningful.

“The hospital needs a long-term vision of winning back trust.”

Scott Sobel Appeared on the Debbie Nigro Radio Show

September 26, 2014

Scott Sobel Quoted in InvestmentNews Article

By Liz Skinner

June 13, 2014

With controversies involving personal conduct toppling more than one financial professional in recent weeks, some advisers are questioning how they would — and should — act if their brand was tarnished by scandal.

An issue such as the one brought to light at the CFA Institute this week — its president and chief executive, John Rogers, stepping down amid allegations of an affair with a colleague — requires the firm or institution to remind the public of what it stands for and explain that it will handle personnel matters in-house, said branding expert Lida Citroen of LIDA360.

“When there is an issue, firms need to reiterate their values,” said Ms. Citroen, who works with many financial services firms. “That’s why having a strong brand is so important to begin with.”

Firms also should stress that they value the privacy of their employees in the same way they respect it in their client relationships, she said.

Reminding the public about the strength of the company’s reputation is how it gets the discussion away from a focus on an individual’s personal indiscretions, Ms. Citroen said. If a situation involves some type of infringement of work responsibilities or questions about the care of financial assets, then there are likely legal steps firms should follow on the advice of an attorney, she said.

In the case of Sterne Agee Group Inc., which fired longtime chairman and chief executive James Holbrook Jr. a couple weeks ago, the company hasn’t spelled out why it took that step, so it’s unclear how that news will impact its image.

“When it’s a matter of a moral judgment, it’s easier,” Ms. Citroen said. “People say, ‘I might not like the way my financial adviser lives his or her life, but if I’m being taken care of as a client I can excuse different things.’”

Scott Sobel, president of Media & Communications Strategies, said firms should have crisis plans developed in advanced that include how to refresh the company’s reputation after a negative event.

“The sooner they can figure out what to do in the face of a crisis, the better,” he said. “The longer they fumble around, the harder it is to fix and the more likely it will be a business-interrupting event.”

Ms. Citroen recommends that firms monitor what is being said online about the situation and the firm during a crisis, but she doesn’t think executives should respond to everything written. A back-and-forth on social media, for instance, can quickly elevate into a fight that the public is following.

“People often feel overconfident behind a screen and say things they wouldn’t if they were facing you,” she said. “The last thing you want to do is start getting into fistfights with people online.”

Clients expect their financial advisers to be wise and be able to handle a high-pressure situation well, Mr. Sobel said.

In addition to having crisis communication plans at the ready, an adviser who is a contributing member of the community and has a solid track record of happy clients will find recovering from any type of scandal easier, he said.

In the end, public relations professionals agree:

• Don’t lie

• Respond quickly

• Have the CEO or president talk to the media

• Practice tough questions ahead of time

• Don’t go off the record
Liz Skinner covers practice management for InvestmentNews and wants to hear any tips or innovative approaches that have helped advisers improve their businesses.

Kate Connors Quoted in Article

The hit HBO show “Game of Thrones,” which has fans enthralled over the fight for the Iron Throne, averages 14.2 million viewers per episode, and has been lauded as the network’s most popular show ever. With a cast of 250+ actors, “Game of Thrones” costs about $50-60 million to produce each season, and is now airing in 75 countries. The season four finale gave fans answers to many questions, and brought up plenty of new ones. Tyrion Lannister is still alive, his father and ex-lover are dead, and Bran has found his three-eyed raven at last.

But impressive stats and story lines aren’t the only thing that “Game of Thrones” has to offer. The show isn’t just a guilty pleasure—the characters in the Seven Kingdoms can teach us a thing or two about business as well.

With the help of Kate Connors, an account manager at Media & Communications Strategies, a communications firm in Washington D.C., we’ve put together a list of four business lessons that come straight from the twisted plot of this series.

1. Admit when you’ve made a mistake
Daenerys Targaryen, a once timid young girl who was forced into an arranged marriage, has transformed into a leader. She has a massive following, thanks to her skills as a leader and her commitment to free slaves in the cities she conquers. As she moves from city to city,  freeing their slaves and “fighting injustice with justice,” she realizes that many cities fall back under the old regime once she leaves. She refuses to allow those she has freed to end up in chains once again, so she returns to rule as their queen.

The Mother of Dragons realizes she made a mistake, and she admits it and fixes it. This is a great business lesson, Connor says. Too often companies hide behind their mistakes, or don’t confront them head on. Instead of ignoring the problem, you should do exactly what the Khaleesi does—admit your mistake and work to correct it. Your customers will appreciate it and so will your employees.

2. The company you keep can influence public opinion
As a business owner, you need to choose your friends, colleagues, and employees wisely, because your life is now in the public eye. Maybe not as public as young Sansa Stark’s life was when she was engaged to King Joffrey, but public nonetheless. Your customers, employees, and colleagues will make assumptions based on the company you keep. Sansa had to learn this the hard way—since she is the daughter of a condemned traitor, people assumed she was a traitor as well.

The actions of those around you will reflect on you, Connors says. If you’re working with a partner, it is important both for your reputation and the reputation of your business to make sure he or she is credible. This applies to employees as well, so if you hire employees, make sure they’re putting the customer first. Impressions matter everywhere, not just in King’s Landing.

3. Work to build a positive reputation
You want your company to have a trusted reputation. If you offer a quality product, treat you customers right, hire the right employees, and give back to the community, you’ll gradually build a positive brand image. If you establish such an image, your company can handle a crisis and still maintain its credibility.

If Tyrion Lannister had built a positive brand image before he landed on trial for poisoning King Joffrey, maybe public opinion would have saved him from trial by combat. However, he never attempted to cultivate a positive image of himself, and was therefore poorly liked in King’s Landing. As a result, the wine-loving dwarf faced death as punishment for a crime he didn’t commit.

4. Be prepared when asking for a loan
At some point, you’ll probably need a loan, just as Stannis Baratheon did. When Baratheon and his right-hand man, Davos Seaworth, asked the Iron Bank for a loan, they were faced with tough questions. These no-nonsense bankers didn’t have much faith in Baratheon, until the duo explained their plans in detail.

It’s no different in real life. OK, you won’t walk out with a handful of gold, but when you sit down to talk with a banker, you’ll be asked to explain why you deserve financial help. You need to go in with a well-written business plan and be able to truthfully answer questions about your business.

Can you think of another business lesson inspired by your favorite “Game of Thrones” character? Share it in the comment section below.
About the Author- Lisa Furgison is a journalist with a decade of experience in all facets of media.