TV Shows to Learn leadership Lessons

11 TV Shows to Learn Leadership Lessons

One of the characteristics of a good leader involves constant updating and training to become a better professional every day.    

Learning about leadership is not always simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s an impossible mission. However, what if this can be done more lightly, combined with leisure? 

It is not necessary, for example, to get stuck in theoretical lessons, long texts, or even dull lectures. After all, it is possible to have examples of inspiring leaders in series and movies.

There are some TV Shows with lessons on leadership that can give suitable classes, even if they don’t deal specifically with the subject of management. Check out! This article will show you 11 of them and what lessons you can learn from the characters.

11 TV Shows to Learn Leadership Lessons From 

1. How to Get Away With Murder 

How To Get Away with Murder tells the story of Annalise Keating (Viola Davis). This renowned criminal law attorney is also a professor and chooses the top 5 students in her class to assemble a team to advise her on solving her problems criminal cases. 

With each case received, Annalise gathers her team and demonstrates how to carry out good strategic planning. As evidence is assembled, strengths and weaknesses are listed, and suggested solutions are discarded or accepted. Everything is explored to the fullest, and even the details gain importance. 

With a well-designed plan, tasks are delegated to the team, who understand that each one needs to perform their part well to achieve the common goal. 

In addition to often encouraging them to give their best in a challenging way, the lawyer also seeks to praise and reward them when something is successful, thus creating healthy competition.

2. Game Of Thrones 

Game of Thrones displays a medieval setting, with power struggles, politics and war illustrated and is one of the most-watched series. 

In all the battles and agreements made in the history of Game Of Thrones, we can see concepts about strategy and leadership, where all decisions made by Game of Thrones characters have consequences. Therefore, every move must be strategically planned. 

From Queen Daenerys, we can learn that to become a good leader, you must first know the real needs of those under her responsibility and gradually acquire the necessary knowledge that the position requires. 

With Jon Snow, we understand that a good reputation and respect from the team are essential things for a good leader, who will hardly be able to command a team that doesn’t admire him.

3. Prison Break 

The series follows the story of two brothers, Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows, starting with the two forming a plan to escape a maximum-security prison. 

The series shows how plans can go wrong, no matter how brilliant the leader is or how well-planned the action plan may be. Revealing, therefore, the importance of improvisation in a strategy. 

In addition, the series also portrays the challenges related to leading people of the most different profiles and how they can come together for a common goal. Offering what people want in exchange for their contribution is an excellent way to motivate them and earn respect.

4. Orange Is the New Black 

A series produced by Netflix in which the story takes place in a women’s prison in the United States; through the dynamics of the groups formed in the series and the interaction between them, it is possible to see how leadership moves between people according to the power they hold. 

The character Red, for example, held great power for being in charge of the kitchen. So she decided who she would eat and what she would eat according to her own will, which gave her great power over the other prisoners. 

The lesson of this series is that coercive leadership doesn’t work for long. The leader who constantly threatens and punishes has fragile administration, which is continuously threatened by the lack of trust that the followers feel in him.

5. La Casa de Papel

Anticipation, teamwork, and planning are the keywords of this series. Extremely meticulous, the “Professor” (Álvaro Morte) planned for years all the details of a major coup to the Spanish Mint. 

The “Professor” set up a multidisciplinary group with eight members with different experiences, motivations, and profiles. He could get the best out of each one because he knew exactly where he wanted to go. From there, he defined his roles clearly toward the end goal. 

The differential he brought with him was “to inspire a shared vision .”Everyone there knew that he was fighting for the collective and not just his plans. 

A leader knows that many unforeseen situations can happen. Internal conflicts, and differences of opinion, are common in workgroups. Knowing how to deal with these circumstances and adapting is essential to obtaining better results.

6. The Crown

Queen of England since 1962, Elizabeth II assumed a leadership role at just 25 years old and has had to deal with many situations since then.

International conflicts, recessions, and political crises are some examples, but she remained firmly on the throne. So, indeed, this story can offer valuable lessons about leadership. 

When she started her reign, she had to deal with many situations that she was not prepared for. Pressures, responsibilities, and insecurities. But, despite that, she knew how to adapt during all these years and is in power to this day. 

It’s impossible to know what will happen in our long-term careers, and the Queen teaches us always to be ready for change. So she leaves one more lesson. 

She trains her successors. A leader must be able to empower and prepare another person. Passing on knowledge reinforces it, and you will be assured that at least you have covered all the relevant points. Nowadays, even the Queen’s great-grandchildren are trained to assume the throne someday.

7. Scandal

This series tells the story of Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), a lawyer and former White House employee.

Olivia creates a company focused on managing crises, named by Olivia Pope & Associates, where she is the leader of a team dubbed by her as “Suit Gladiators.” 

Through this company, Olivia, along with her associates, aims to protect the public image of great American politicians and ensure that their secrets never come out.

Scandal is a hit by Shonda Rhimes with breathtaking episodes where the protagonist becomes a successful conflict manager.

8. Dr. House 

House is an example of what not to do in a leadership role. Technically brilliant, doctor Gregory House suffers from his inflexibility, bad temper, arrogance, and lack of social graces. 

According to Goleman, one of the most important rules for a good leader is emotional intelligence. This is the ability to develop and recognize your own and others’ emotions. 

The more skilled in interpersonal relationships, the more motivation and commitment from the team he will be able to obtain, according to him.

9. Grey’s Anatomy 

Chief of Surgery Miranda Bailey has an essential skill for every leader: she knows how to delegate tasks to her team when she realizes that someone on the team can perform the activity better than she can. 

She does this masterfully as soon as she realizes that someone on the team can do a better job than she can. 

The advantage of this characteristic is that it allows for decentralization and gives greater autonomy to subordinates so that they can succeed in their activities. 

Besides, Miranda knows precisely how to distribute tasks to the team, ensuring greater efficiency in her department. 

In addition to empowering people and motivating them with the hospital’s purpose, this allows her to focus on much more delicate issues. 

As a leader or a potential one, you can do just the same. Identify the potential of each employee and delegate greater responsibility to them. 

You will see how this will make all the difference to the team’s engagement with the department and the sense of purpose and belonging to the company.

10. Mindhunter 

The key topic here is the power of influence, the primary ruse used by FBI agents Bill Tench and Holden Ford to interrogate killers. The series is based on the book by John E. Douglas (1996) and shows how they manage to profile the motivation of serial killers and psychopaths. 

Knowing how to influence people is an important characteristic; it presupposes the understanding of what goes on in the other’s head, which improves communication.

11. Breaking Bad 

Of course, the illicit activities developed are not an example for anyone, but particularities of the story aside, what is interesting is the solution of problems in challenging scenarios. 

Good leaders see opportunities for growth and maturity in the face of problems and challenges that constantly arise. In the specialist’s view, knowing how to solve problems is a leadership differential and may require an extra dose of emotional intelligence to deal with pressure situations.


In the rush of the corporate world, as much as a good leader has a broad view of the whole and everyone, there is always something that can be improved or seen from a different angle. 

Therefore, watch our recommendations for the series on leadership; in addition to having a moment of leisure, it is possible to learn valuable lessons by analyzing the solutions created, the reactions of the characters, and the relationship between them. 

For example, by looking at the characters Olivia from Scandal and professor Annalize Keating from How To Get Away With Murder, you can gain insights into strategic alignment, crisis management, and people management.

References and Further Reading

10 Leadership Lessons from the Movies.

20 Best Movies of all time about Leadership and Management.

 TOP 15 GOOD Interpersonal Skills All Leaders Should HAVE. AcethePresentation.

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