5 Leadership Lessons from Queen Elizabeth II

With the heart-breaking news about Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, we round up the top five leadership lessons we can take from her 70 years of reign and her life – a life marked by a sense of duty.

Duty first

It’s difficult to think of another leader in modern history who embodies the ‘duty first’ mindset more than the Queen did during her 70 years of reign. Since becoming a queen after her father’s death at the delicate age of 25, she’s always seen her role as a monarch as her life’s main calling and has never put anything before the crown. She’s always seen leadership as an act of service – serving the people you lead and the objectives and goals you all follow. It’s a leadership type that is selfless and focuses on others and your collective purpose with them.

From training as a truck mechanic during World War II to working until her very last days when she appointed Liz Truss as the UK’s new Prime Minister, she lived a life of complete and utter devotion to her duty to serve and unite the nation.

Be resilient and know how to adapt

During her remarkable time as a monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has lived through war and peace, recessions and times of growth, family scandals and tragedies and one global pandemic. In total, she’s appointed 15 different Prime Ministers. Last year, she lost her husband Prince Philip and was back at work mere days after his passing. She’s seen a mind-blowing number of changes and challenges in her lifetime and has demonstrated an extraordinary level of resilience and adaptability.

Create a solid circle

Being the Queen and being the CEO of an organisation share many common things. One of them is that although it looks like it’s a one-person job, in reality, it requires a team effort. The Queen had a solid circle of advisers that she collaborated with – listening to their opinions and suggestions before making a decision. She’s also always been very good at delegating tasks and sharing responsibilities with the other members of the Royal Family.

A great leader understands the importance of having an excellent team that you collaboratively work with and most importantly, making the most of their different areas of expertise, experiences and points of view.

Build your own personal brand

Queen Elizabeth II is generally considered to be one of the most recognisable faces in the world. From her distinctive style of dressing – looking just as fabulous in a designer suit as in a raincoat and wellies – through to her persona and the way she speaks and acts, over the years, she’s managed to build an extremely strong personal brand for herself.

Having your authentic brand as a leader is extremely important for how you’re perceived within the organisation and could open many doors beyond that too.

Work hard but find time to do what you love

Queen Elizabeth II has always been a hard worker fully devoted to her role and her nation. Her schedule has always been manic. However, it’s no secret that she’s also always managed to balance her responsibilities with her hobbies. She’s always valued the benefits of finding time to do the things she enjoys doing like spending time with her corgis, visiting her horses and eating sandwiches with raspberry jam.

Balancing work and play, and specifically being able to dedicate some time to do the things that make you truly happy and soothe your mind and soul is an incredibly important lesson for busy leaders – and one that can only have a positive impact on all aspects of your life.

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