Leadership Lessons from the Queen
01 June 2022
No matter your views on the Monarchy, you have to admire someone who has held a job for 70 years. Sure, the benefits are pretty good, but being Queen is a tough job. Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, has done that job with grace, providing her nation with stability in the face of many global challenges.
Here are 6 lessons about leadership that you can learn from our Gracious Queen.
1. Lead from the front
When Princess Elizabeth came of age in 1944, in the middle of World War 2, she immediately requested to join the military effort. Despite being told that it was too dangerous for the heir to the throne to enlist, she was tenacious, eventually gaining permission to join the Women’s Auxiliary Territory Service as an auto mechanic.
Although she would one day be the Queen of England, she wasn’t afraid to (literally) get her hands dirty in service of her people.
2. Remain Neutral
As Head of State, the Queen must remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters. She adopts a similar attitude to royal scandals. While she may hold her own opinions, these are never expressed in public.
This doesn’t mean to say that she doesn’t experience challenges with the people around her, but she deals with them in private where necessary.
As a leader, it is important to remain neutral and never show favouritism or antipathy towards members of your team. You should always appear to be objective when it comes to your team and will need to stay above any workplace politics.
3. Show public appreciation
If you google “the queen shows appreciation” there are over 82 million results. The nature of the headlines prove that she does not shy away from showing public appreciation.
As a leader, it is important to do the same for the people who support you and your organisation.
In a survey by Glassdoor in 2019, 81% of respondents reported that they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work. This doesn’t mean they want a verbose outpouring of public thanks, but it could include being involved in making decisions, being given interesting and varied projects with other departments, or receiving training and development opportunities. *
Harvard Business Review draws the distinction between recognition and appreciation: “Appreciation is about acknowledging a person’s inherent value. The point isn’t their accomplishments. It’s their worth as a colleague and a human being.”
4. Provide stability
When Princess Elizabeth was 26 years old, the King of England passed away, and from one day to the next, her life changed forever. Suddenly, she wasn’t a daughter mourning the death of her father, she was the Queen of England.
When a global pandemic hit or when terrorist attacks happened just miles from her home, she wasn’t a matriarch fearing for the safety of her family, she was the Queen of England.
Through it all, she provided stability to an entire nation who were relying on her. It has been one of the defining characteristics of her reign.
Sometimes, despite your very best intentions, things go wrong. But calm, confident decision making in the face of adversity is one of the best ways you can support your team.
5. Embrace change
Although a staunch defender of tradition, multiple sources cite Queen Elizabeth’s modernisation of the Monarchy as one of the key accomplishments of her reign. Her time on the throne has seen the end many outdated traditions; by acknowledging that Princess Charlotte would be heir to the throne before her younger brother, Prince Louise, she has made succession more equitable; in the 60’s, she invited television crews into her life to give the public a taste of royal life behind the scenes; she enabled members of the royal family to find happiness by allowing separation and divorce. Prior to her coronation, the future of the monarchy was uncertain. 70 years later, it is still going strong because she chose to move with the times.
The same applies in business. As a leader, you should be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things to ensure that your business keeps moving forward and your team stays motivated.
6. Seek Advice
The Queen surrounds herself with advisors; experts who offer guidance and support to ensure that she is making informed decisions. It doesn’t make her weak, and it doesn’t mean that she’s not up to the job. Admitting what you don’t know and seeking advice from those who do speaks of self-awareness, which is characteristic of strong leaders. It is far better to seek advice when you are unsure than to march full steam ahead with a decision that could put your team or your organisation at risk.
Congratulations on your Platinum Jubilee, Your Majesty, and thank you for 70 years of leadership.
At Quantum, we work closely with a Career Coach and Mentor to ensure that we are continuously learning and developing our own leadership skills. It is one of the benefits of becoming a Quantum Partner through Quantum Connect. To find out more, contact Omar Carr on email@example.com.
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