It's no surprise to any Game of Thrones fan that the seventh and final season kicked off with the expected shock and awe we've all grown to love. Winter has come, and with it is a whole bundle of anticipation. Nevertheless, as a guy who studies leadership, I can't help but notice the glaring lessons we all can learn from a series that, in it's foundational storyline, spotlights the rise and fall of those in power.

While some characters in the series have power because of their family name, and others have power because they have wealth, the show brilliantly exposes the way leadership should be earned -- by earning the respect of those around you.

Warning: Obviously, there are spoilers ahead.

Through the years we've watched Jon Snow rise to a leadership position because he is trustworthy, empathetic, and humble. However, in the first episode of season seven, the newly named King in the North could heed a bit of advice that all of us need from time to time as leaders -- lessons that we'll all see play out in the near future:

1. Don't dismiss people based on their title.

Just like Jon wouldn't listen to his sister Sansa about beating Ramsay Bolton's army, he also dismissed her recent thoughts about the Umbers and Karstarks. As leaders, we often assume that the best advice comes from people with the biggest titles -- experts in industries or practices.

However, research shows that 72 percent of award-winning projects happen when people seek advice of people who aren't in their industry, and who may have diverse perspectives and opinions. Dismissing the opinions of people who may not fully understand your work can lead to failure.

2. Be patient and focus on the end result.

Although none of us are facing the arrival of White Walkers, in a corporate world where it often feels like time is money, we can't lose focus on the bigger picture -- to get the work done right.

Jon Snow has nearly lost an important battle because he didn't exercise patience. And, research from the Great Work Study reveals that 90 percent of award winning work projects include employees who patiently remain involved with the work from start to finish -- measuring the impact the work makes on the recipient of that work until the final product is loved.

3. Being humble doesn't mean you won't change the world.

As a fan of Game of Thrones it was often frustrating to watch Jon Snow as he didn't realize the impact his leadership was making on the people around him. As leaders it's important to understand that although we may not be leading large armies, people look to us every day see if their efforts and results at work are valued and appreciated.

In fact, recent research shows that when employees were asked what their boss could do to inspire great work from them, "Recognize me" was the number one response -- a response three times larger than any other including, "Pay me more," "Give me a promotion," or "Give me more autonomy."

So, be humble. But, realize you do have the power to change the world around you by noticing and appreciating your team's hard work.

We've yet to see what ultimately happens in Game of Thrones. Winter has arrived and we don't yet know the outcomes of Jon Snow's decisions. Nevertheless, let's not miss the nuggets of advice we learn from one of the most simultaneously beloved and detested characters on television today.