If you’re up to date with the news from Hollywood, you probably know that Kevin Spacey won the Golden Globe for Best Actor, Drama, and that the season three trailer for House of Cards aired during a commercial break. If you missed it, check it out here:
Those who watch the fascinating political drama House of Cards will find Frank Underwood and his tactics a bit unorthodox. For a brief moment you may find yourself admiring him, and the next hating him. However, no one can argue that Frank is one of the best characters in television from whom you can learn a lot about success. Watching House of Cards can certainly be a mixed bag of feelings, but it does hold a lot of valuable lessons. Here are some of our favourites:
“Treading water is the same as drowning for people like you and me.”
No matter what you do, never stand still. There is no easier way of ‘drowning’ in apathy than settling into your comfort zone. In recruitment, this means to never challenge your goals. If you keep making 20 calls a day for the rest of the year, you will most likely see no progress at the end of it.
The key word here is ambition. If you constantly challenge your goals, you will never feel like drowning. Step outside your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to take risks!
“There are two kinds of pain: the sort of pain that makes you strong, or useless pain; the sort of pain that’s only suffering. I have no patience for useless things.”
In recruitment, we see a lot of insecurity and pain. We see people who break down under pressure and can’t get out of that feeling that they have failed. We see people who can’t handle rejection. This is what Frank would call ‘useless pain’ – pain you choose not to let go of.
Usually the pain you experience can give you a lot of value in terms of what you can learn from it, understanding what went wrong / what you can change next and then forgetting about it. Recruitment can be a ruthless game, and one that will be difficult for you if you keep feeling the pain, but not seeing the value. To sum up: Grow from the experience, don’t become consumed by it.
“To improve is to change. To perfect is to change often.”
This was a Winston Churchill quote inscribed on the back of a watch gifted to Remy from Frank. We particularly like this one because, in recruitment, unless you step up your game every few weeks, others will take your place. Being static isn’t a way to achieve anything, so keep changing! You can’t do it all at once, but if you change one little thing at a time, you might just find that you are in the lead.
“Insecurity bores me.”
If you’ve watched at least one episode of House of Cards, then you know that Frank Underwood breathes confidence. Confidence is what helps you fully utilise and appreciate your skills, but most importantly, it helps you use your flaws to your best advantage. This means you should know your strengths and weaknesses and know why you are good at your job and why you bring value to your company. Act like you’re successful and success will come to you!
“While you argue the present versus the past, I am making the future.”
Frank Underwood always has a plan. He knows what’s coming and will do anything to get where he wants. In recruitment, we find that unless you have a clear strategy, you rarely, if ever, become truly successful.
The thing that makes you exceptionally successful is vision. While it’s most important to be proactive and do your best every day, it is equally important to see into the future. So if you have no idea where you want to be in a couple of months’ time, you might want to take a pen and a piece of paper and set some goals for yourself!