Longevity in Leadership…We salute you, Your Majesty.

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As we prepare to celebrate the amazing achievement of our monarch, Queen Elizabeth, it’s worth considering what seventy years really means in terms of leadership.

Thrown in at the deep end in 1952 and at the tender age of twenty-five…no training, and tens of millions of people to reign over. Wow!!

Consider the life span of leaders in business, the regularity of change…similarly in professional sport. While Sir Alex Ferguson is considered one of the great modern managers, he had to keep churning the squad, to keep things fresh and vibrant.

What then are the skills needed to govern/reign or lead for lengthy periods of time?

  1. Great leaders show humility and are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses…knowing their capabilities, and playing to that, while having a strong team around them to help to guide and develop in the areas that are deemed weaknesses…or learning opportunities!
  2. Being personable and approachable…this is different to being liked by all. This is a challenge in its own right, and when the role also requires assertiveness, it is a skill of its own. Given that 50% of people leave their organization because if their boss, high levels of emotional intelligence are necessary.
  3. The ability to set long term goals and that others buy into…successful leaders are those who can anticipate and plan for pitfalls. When they can’t, they know how to re-evaluate goals and how to better go about reaching them. Nothing always goes according to plan, but the ability to work around problems while finding solutions and with input from others is critical…involving their people.
  4. Having a flexible approach…in the modern world, fewer people now develop careers for life, and look for new challenges from their employers. Always consider new ways of working and create an agile workplace.
  5. Know how to give feedback well. The skill is not always in the formal setting, but often casually but in a way that lifts and develops the people
  6. Inspiring positivity…so that your people feel pride and are confident of the future, and the part that they will play in it!
Burn out is a term often used in the modern world…rightly or wrongly…for a moment reflect on the reign of our Queen…the hundreds of visits each year, the demands of being the monarch of our great country, not putting a foot wrong, the need to constantly engage with complete strangers…Your Majesty…we salute you!

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”
Albert Schweitzer