Over the years, we’ve been captivated by our favourite TV characters. Some are heroes, while others are villains. The ones who perhaps intrigue us the most fall somewhere in between: so called anti-heroes. Included in this group are Frank Underwood and Walter White, just to name a few.
Awards, high ratings, and large viewerships reveal that international audiences love watching these exciting characters as the drama of their lives unfold. But—can we learn anything valuable from them?
Let’s find out.
We collected our favourite TV quotes, which can be re-framed to offer interesting perspectives on entrepreneurship and one’s career.
Walter White of Breaking Bad is the prime example of an entrepreneurial anti-hero. Walter starts off as a truly sympathetic character: a high school teacher who’s very ill and struggling to secure finances for himself and his family. He’s a desperate man. However, things quickly escalate and Walter becomes a morally suspect character as he gets involved in a violent life of crime.
“I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really—I was alive.”
– Walter White, Breaking Bad
In this scene, Walter is humanized again as he confesses his motives to his wife. It’s a simple truth that devoting ourselves to something we’re good at is intellectually and emotionally rewarding (just don’t follow Walter’s specific example).
“Things are only impossible until they are not.”
– Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation
Captain Jean-Luc Picard is one of the most beloved figures in science fiction, showing us that a good leader is a force for positivity and hope. This empowering quote is a great one to keep in mind when you’re feeling downtrodden and defeated. What seems impossible can be possible after all, and often, we’re the only thing holding ourselves back.
“You’re both here to advise me. I value your advice, but if you ever question me in front of strangers again, you’ll be advising someone else. Is that understood?”
– Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones
Daenerys Targaryen is one of the most strong-willed characters on TV at the moment. Plus, she’s got dragons. In this quote, we see how a good leader also demands respect. Indeed, managing one’s employees well is a delicate balance between positive reinforcement and discipline.
“I know what I’m supposed to want, but it just never feels right or as importance as anything in that office.”
– Peggy Olson, Mad Men
Peggy Olson is an incredible character, who, using her cleverness and talent, worked her way up the corporate ladder in the hit TV series, Mad Men. In this scene, Peggy is struggling with societal expectations of women (this season takes place in the 1960’s). While many women her age are getting married and having children, Peggy’s life revolves around her career aspirations. This quote teaches us to always choose what feels right and true for ourselves, despite the obstacles we might face. Authenticity is the best thing one can pursue in their career.
“Imagination is its own form of courage.”
– Frank Underwood, House of Cards
Although he’s one of the most ruthless characters on television, audiences can’t help but like something about Frank Underwood. And, in this quote we see a glimpse of his appeal. Despite his flaws (and there are many), Frank carries with him an entrepreneurial spirit. It takes confidence and perseverance to take an idea and make it a reality: a risky move reserved for the bold.