Leadership Lessons Learned from {Watching} Silicon Valley

Maddox Marketing Co December 13, 2022

HBO delivered six seasons of Silicon Valley, an American comedy series based on entrepreneurs, start-up, and the culture of the technology industry. After rewatching the series (which originally premiered 2014-2019) in 2022 from the lens of a small business owner, I jotted down a few quick takeaways meant to inspire, encourage, and elevate. 

Here’s 5 Leadership Lessons from HBO’s Silicon Valley 

  1. Sometimes “the boss” still has to get their hands dirty and do the work. At many times in the series, Richard (the main character) would spend hours coding to solve problems, staying up all night to get the work done, or putting in extra time to support the process. 
  1. Leaders have to learn to make decisions. And those decisions must be nade with the best info they have at the time, which ultimately may mean that some decisions will be right, some will be wrong, and some will be neutral–but decided. Throughout many episodes, we’d see Richard grow more and more confident in his ability to simply lead – pick a lane and give it a shot. 
  1. As a leader, you are really only as good as those around you. So there is such Importance in cultivating a supportive team or peer group. Two heads are better than one, and when leaders can tap into their team, trusting them, leaning on them, and supporting them in their goals, everyone is off better. 
  1. Leaders must continue to show up. Even if you puke in front of your team. And that happened in the series! The nerves sometimes were physically unbearable for Richard, forcing him to become sick. Being a leader doesn’t mean you’re devoid of those natural human tendencies (fear, nerves, etc,) But a good leader know they can still show up, be present, and try – despite those things. 
  1. Leaders know that Life Happens. Problems arise. There really is “always something” that is going to pop up. So a leader understands that that is simply how life works. And since that is the case, we can trudge forward without having a ‘doom and gloom’ outlook any time a problem pops up. Leaders should try to stay positive and stay adaptable.

While Hollywood won’t always have the most accurate description of real life, it’s always good we can glean some nuggets of wisdom from a good TV binge. And now, I’m currently looking for my next series – send me your recommendations!

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