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How to lead like Queen Elizabeth even if you’re a commoner?


Queen Elizabeth has reigned in Britain for 66 years. It is longer than any of her predecessors. Or indeed any other living monarch in the world. She is a true leader.

Her authority as the UK head of state is not so much executive. Why?

Well, she can no longer pass laws, declare wars, or order executions as symbolic. Yet Her Majesty remains enormously popular in the UK. And as a result, so does the institution she represents.

Polls regularly find that at least two-thirds of Brits say that the reigning monarchy is indeed good for Britain. And while her job is structured a little differently than most people’s, she can’t actually be fired.

Her reign still comes with valuable leadership lessons for commoners.

On the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s birthday we look back at her tenure for clues about maintaining a long streak of success. It goes as following:-

Take assignments gracefully.

Also read: A Rare Look At What Queen Elizabeth Is Really Like, As A Mother.

This Queen was, technically, not born to rule. Her uncle, King Edward was the heir to the throne, and presumably any children he might have had would have succeeded him.

But, when he abdicated, his younger brother, George VI was forced to take the job. This meant that his eldest daughter, then just 10, would have to eventually do the same.

Her Majesty has gracefully prepared for her succession. She is giving up her responsibility to her heir apparent and younger members of the royal family, to ensure a smooth public transition. 

Show up and be consistent.

Queen Elizabeth has mastered the use of iconography in the role. Those monochrome hats, her hairstyle, and the corgis aren’t just accidents.

But more impressively, Her Majesty has remained relentlessly on message throughout the decades as an uncomplaining, discreet, flawlessly decorous ambassador for a particular ideal of British stoicism.

Also read: 7 British Laws Queen Elizabeth Doesn’t Have To Follow.

Know when to hold back.

There is one unusual thing about Queen Elizabeth’s leadership style. It is that while she has been present as a national figurehead during times of tumult and change, she has generally declined to comment publicly.

Her annual speeches to the public on Christmas Day are full of generic platitudes on family, country, and service. It made headlines in 2014 when the Queen made a rare exception and referred publicly to the referendum on Scottish independence.

Hence, she very well knows when to speak and when not to. She has reigned for 66 years with respect and dignity. And there are many more years of her reign. Long live the Queen.