Lessons in leadership from  Queen Elizabeth II

With the sad death of Queen Elizabeth II, it is a time for gratitude in what she gave us. One area I’ve reflected on is some of key leadership lessons we should learn from her reign. I summarise some of these key lessons below:

1. Serve to lead

The Queen’s leadership style was best summed up by the motto of military academy Sandhurst: serve to lead. The Queen dedicated her life to serving others, ever since she trained as a truck mechanic during World War Two.

2. Live your purpose

Unlike many leaders I meet, the Queen wasn’t on a mission to find her purpose in life. She was aware of her purpose ever since the abdication of Edward VIII, in 1936. Her sense of purpose shined through everything she did, whether it’s opening parliament, entertaining presidents or greeting business leaders at a garden party.

3. Be resilient

During her remarkable reign, Queen Elizabeth II experienced war and peace, boom times and recessions, a global pandemic, family scandals and personal tragedies. In total, she has been served by 15 prime ministers. Last year she lost her lifelong partner, Prince Philip, a couple of months before what would have been his 100th birthday. Nevertheless, she was back at work days after his death.

Psychologist Leigh Roberts says that while there have been times when the Queen had simply “pushed through” in the face of challenges, there have been other occasions when she changed course or adapted her approach –all critical elements of resilience.

4. Collaborate

Being the Queen was a team effort. The Queen surrounds herself with trusted advisers making decisions with her team and shared responsibilities among the rest of her family.

5. Be authentic

Queen Elizabeth was generally regarded as having the world’s most recognised face. She was also known for her smart and distinctive dress sense. Over her 70 year reign, she did an outstanding job of building her personal brand through the way she acted, what she said and, of course, what she wore. She was authentic aligning both the internal (how you show up) and the external (whether how you appear to others reflects who you are).

6. Achieve balance

The Queen looked after her mental and physical wellbeing  by balancing work with life for example making time for walking her Corgis and visiting her much loved horses .

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