Much has been written about the death of the Queen. Some disliked her. Many loved her. But as I have been reading about her history, her values, what was important to her, her position in society and the ultimate job she held I realised that she was an epic leader.
If you really think about it, she was the CEO of 41 major companies (or in her case commonwealth countries) that had an independent board of directors (or in her case Governments) which employed 2.5 billion people (or in her case commonwealth subjects).
Like any large company there are going to be people who dislike working for you and dislike the company they work for. The fact that she was CEO for a whopping 70 years and still universally liked suggests there is something unique at play. And something special too. As I said epic.
So how did she do it and how can you use her knowledge and wisdom in your business and ultimately in your life.
• It’s Never About ‘’Me’’.
I think the real reason she was loved was because it was never about her. In today’s world you just need to look at social media, seminars, blogs where everyone has an opinion where the subject matter happens to be about, well, them or the outcome is about them, not the purpose.
When it came to the Queen, it was more about what is good for the country, the people, and the commonwealth.
As business owners do we realise that we are there for the good of our customers, our team and the business we operate? Yes, we may have started the business and we may head it, but is it for us or for those we serve and for those who serve us?
• Intensely Private
We did not really know her. She rarely gave interviews and never wrote an opinion piece. She was never decisive or polarising nor did she say things that were annoying. Yet everyone felt they knew her or were connected to her.
In a world of social media and Donald Trump where you must be on one side of the spectrum or the other, the Queen did exactly the opposite – and we loved her for it. Her aim was unity and bringing people together. Everything else was just noise.
• She was Unelected
Many business owners are unelected leaders (like the Queen) but feel they have a sense of entitlement. The Queen never felt entitled.
She had the amazing ability to be quiet, not show emotion, great resilience and strength when her personal world and her royal world was falling down around her. Yet she never complained.
You never got the impression that she played the victim card which many now seem to do. If anything goes wrong, we have to find a reason why and blame someone. She never did that.
She understood that she was unelected and that her sole purpose was about the people and unity.
How many businesspeople see themselves as unelected with the aim of bettering the lives of customers, their team and their business.
• It’s about the Team!
In 2005, Prince Charles was getting married and invited a manager and the manager’s colleague to his wedding. He had met this manager on one of his Commonwealth visits. On arrival to the UK Prince Charles got the impression that the manager did not have appropriate winter clothes and sent his aides for new clothes.
They spend 10 days in London taking in the sights. They had breakfast with the Prince and Queen and yes, they attended his wedding.
What’s the big deal you may ask? Well, the manager’s salary at the time was $200 a month as a tiffin (lunch boxe) delivery man in Mumbai.
The thing is this case was normal. It was not a one off. The Queen placed importance to you if you were a world leader or a simple tiffin delivery man. And she made you feel special.
So, before we judge her for her wealth and entitlement just ask – ‘’Would I invite such a person to my son’s wedding. Would I invite such a person for breakfast on a regular basis?’’
Because she would invite people to such breakfasts every week. Yet we will not invite such a person to our home in an entire lifetime.
Every one of her subjects (or employees) were equal no matter what work they did or what they earned.
In summary, all the Queen did was put into actions what successful business leaders have been saying for decades. Except she probably invented it and then lived it. And maybe that is all we need to do too.