December 7, 2010 at 8:54 am, by Carl
One of my favorite leaders from history was Elizabeth I. As a young woman, she entered a man’s world, took the throne in a tumultuous time, and thrived. Here are some simple lessons from her life.
–If you ask for frankness, be prepared to accept it and to reward it, the matter how personally unsettling it may be. If you asked for secrets to be shared confidentially, take care never to violate that confidence.
–Excluded no one; you must decide on an inner circle but be careful not to alienate those were made outside. Elizabeth said this regarding too many people on the inner circle “and they which I shall not appoint, let them not think the same for any disability in them, but for that I consider a multitude doth make rather disorder and confusion than good counsel, and of my good will you shall not doubt, but using yourselves as appertaineth to good and loving subjects.” In other words, Elizabeth declared that a leadership Council should be small enough to be useful. Failure to be appointed to this council does not signify being out of loop. No one is ever excluded from full involvement, provided they behave. Those not selected still have the regard, respect, and confidence of the Leader.
–Reward confidence, reward loyalty, show loyalty with loyalty. Reward boldness, but cherished wisdom tactic and good judgment.
–The leader must willingly accept ultimate authority and ultimate responsibility. This may sound autocratic and even dictatorial, but, in fact, in a well-defined business context, it is a very liberating position. When all members of the enterprise understand and accept the final authority and responsibility of the designated supervisor, they are freed up for action, secure in the knowledge of the source of authority for what they do and secure and the knowledge of a resource of appeal if something goes wrong. True leadership does not limit freedom. It creates and enables freedom.