Queen Elizabeth II: A model of great leadership


Over the past week it has been near impossible to avoid the flowing tributes to Queen Elizabeth II. Throughout her 70-year reign, she was one of the most stable and consistent public figures and her leadership is one that all leaders should be looking at carefully and emulating where possible. 

The Queen and the monarchy are not without their fair share of controversy and everyone has their own opinions, but monarchists and republicans alike have been paying their respects in the time since her passing – it’s a remarkable leader that can command that kind of respect across the world.

Consistency is key 

Throughout her time as Queen, she was incredibly consistent. She witnessed wars, pandemics, changes in leadership in those countries she ruled over and countless tragedies – throughout it all, she remained steady and comfortingly predictable in her response to each situation as it arose. 

Leaders the world over, from the smallest not-for-profit organisations, to the biggest governments, need to take note. When your team knows what to expect from you and can rely on your steady leadership, they feel safer and more secure when difficult times come. 

Trustworthy leaders last 

“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” 

When Her Majesty the Queen said those words on her 21st birthday in 1947, she had not even started her reign. She couldn’t have imagined that she would still be healthy and actively working, 70 years into her role. Most of us would have been ready to retire long ago, and it was well within her power to pass on the role at any point. 

Instead, she stuck by what she said all those years ago, showing the world that we could trust her to do what she said. 

Leaders should be inspired by the way she built trust. Following through on your words is one of the key ways to build trust. Your team needs to know you are as good as your word. 

A robust succession plan 

While the Queen herself did not design the way in which the Royal Family’s line of succession operates, it is an important reminder that leadership changes are easier to understand and accept when a succession plan is in place

When a leader decides to leave, it creates a lot of concern for employees: will the next person be any good? 

They’re the same questions the world is now asking of King Charles III, but he has the advantage of over 70 years of preparation and, should he decide he’s not up to the task, there are others who also have extensive preparation ready to step up. 

Having a succession plan in leadership honours the consistency and trust you have built during your time as leader, recognising that it’s important to do everything in your power to ensure that strong leadership continues into the future. A succession plan is one of the only ways you can contribute to the future in this way. 

Most of us will never stay in one role for as long as the Queen, nor have the same kinds of resources at hand, but there’s no reason we cannot examine what the world loved about her leadership and bring that into our own styles wherever we can. 

Want to become a leader that your team respects and trusts? People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Try our online leadership training videos – $99 for complete access. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.