We can all agree that Frank Underwood is a Very Bad Man. He lies, he cheats, he betrays, and when all of that isn’t enough to get him up the career ladder, he’ll literally push you under a train without so much as an “excuse me”. All of which would be frowned upon in an average HR department.
Still, who would you rather listen to when it comes to getting ahead in business – some bloke named Ian in a team-building seminar, or a devilishly charming psychopath with a peach of a Southern drawl? Yep, thought so.
In honour of House Of Cards returning to Netflix for a brand new season, here’s the Scoundrel-in-Chief imparting some of his hard-won rules of making it to the top. As the man himself would say, let the butchery begin…
Rules are overrated
We live in a world of rules. Don’t lie on your CV, don’t steal your colleagues’ best ideas, don’t casually murder people who have dirt on you. Pah. You know what Frank would say to all that? He’d say “rules, schmules”. Well, actually he’d be a little more eloquent, and say this…
Always be ready to strike
Business depends on tact and diplomacy, and knowing when to meet someone halfway. But the moment someone oversteps the mark, or tries to alter a deal, or shows the merest hint of defying your magnificence, then be ready to strike with a metaphorical rock. Or a literal one, if nobody’s looking.
Get up early every day
Sleep is for the weak, and the early bird catches the worm. And by “catches the worm” we mean “crushes all rivals and basks in the lamentations of their loved ones”.
Know when to keep schtum
When it comes to talking about yourself in the workplace, there’s a simple rule: don’t. Don’t talk about your relationships, your politics, what you watch on Netflix, or that deeply embarrassing thing you did on that Tinder date last week. Nobody needs to know about that.
Try not to betray close friends
When it comes to backstabbing, everyone should be considered fair game – except for your friends. They tend to take stuff like that pretty personally. (Just to clarify, we do mean proper friends here. That nice chap you share a desk with who makes you tea every day? He can be ruined with impunity.)
Never forgive betrayal
Speaking of which, if you’re the one who gets the knife in the back, then never forgive and never forget. Do not rest until you are dipping your teatime biscuits in a mug of their fresh, warm tears. (Don’t actually eat the biscuit; it will taste bad.)
Use people's decency against them
You don’t always have to actively take down a rival yourself. If someone in your team has a strong sense of morality or decency, the poor naïve fool can probably be guilted into voluntarily stepping aside, or taking the blame for your own acts of sabotage. Hey, martyrs gonna martyr.
Just be unbelievably scary
Subtle scheming is one thing, but sometimes you take the direct approach and just threaten your enemies right to their stupid blinking faces. Sure, it may get you fired and/or arrested, but it’ll make you feel awesome.
Be your own god
Finally… when all else fails, pray. To yourself, naturally…
House Of Cards season 5 is available to watch now on Netflix.