The Diamond Jubilee: What The Queen Can Teach Us About Leadership

Some people are born leaders, some achieve greatness and others have greatness thrust upon them. With a powerful combination of heritage, natural born leadership skills and royal lineage, the Queen represents the pinnacle of power.

The Queen’s reign is a beacon of national unity, identity, stability and continuity and over the last 60 years she has witnessed monumental milestones, such as the first man to walk on the moon, the invention of the Internet and the discovery of DNA.

So as we look back at the Diamond Jubilee and celebrate her 60th year on the throne, what can businesses learn from her Majesty’s experiences over the last six decades, and how can businesses apply these lessons with their own staff?

Leading by example

According to a survey conducted by Learndirect, the Queen was voted number one for her leadership skills ahead of several successful and influential businesspeople including Sir Alex Ferguson, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. This may seem unsurprising, considering her ability to demonstrate commitment to duty and calm restraint.

There is no doubt that over the years, she has faced some tough questions and made some difficult decisions, yet she has always remained composed and unafraid of critics. In the same way, business is often regarded as a dog-eat-dog world, and this level of self-control will only improve your chances of success as you pit yourself against your competition.

Secondly, open communication has proved critical during the Queen’s leadership. The Queen listens to and accepts ideas from others – Prime Minister’s, royal advisers and so forth. This is a great example for any leader and creating this corporate culture where there are open lines of communication is vital for productivity so be aware of how your team communicates with you. Additionally, if you find yourself with ‘yes men’, re-evaluate your communication methods and abolish the fear of advising hierarchy.

Inspire royal style

The Queen inspires the nation to ensure it remains functioning and progressing well. She aims to encourage people as individuals to achieve and deliver to the best of their ability through inspirational approaches. This is an extremely important practice leaders in business can take away – without having to execute an elaborate speech at Christmas.

Inspiring and encouraging others within an organization is of great importance so think ahead of ways you could implement it into your workplace however little they may seem. For example the Queen goes that extra mile in order to make sure that people can relate to her and proved that she is willing to experience the things that other people have to go through, both good and bad.

She has visited Countries viewed as dangerous or areas hit by disasters as opposed to staying away and playing safe and in 1992 she famously offered to start paying income tax and capital gains tax, as well as opening up her homes to the public to finance their maintenance, freeing up expenditure for the benefit of others.

Ultimate recruiter

Although the Queen is a constitutional monarch who remains politically neutral she does play a role in the mechanics of a general election. The Queen holds the power to invite someone to form a government and become prime minister and is drawn in to referee the outcome of an inconclusive general election.

The fundamental point to take away from the Queen’s role of recruiting is that she doesn’t attempt it alone. Even with the authority to make such decisions, she is aided by ‘The Golden Triangle’; the country’s top civil servants and royal courtiers. There was a fear with the UK’s current hung parliament that the queen would have to intervene had the two parties not agreed to form a coalition. The Golden Triangle was warned of the likelihood of a hung parliament leading them to hold preparatory discussions and even using memos dating back to 1974 as a guide.

Likewise, when recruiting yourself listen to the people around you and accept help and advice when making decisions. Also, always be prepared. Don’t leave recruitment until the last minute and lose out on valuable time to source that perfect candidate. If a resignation is submitted or a new job opportunity arises, get the ball rolling immediately.

Continue to reign

Although not on the same scale as the Queen, any leader of a business or in an organisation can learn from Her Majesty regardless of the context. These ‘by Royal Appointment’ skills could help you establish a long and happy reign in your role.

Howard Murfin's recruitment career began more than 10 years ago, when he specialised in the search and selection of both permanent and contract IT personnel. He joined mobile communications specialist, Caudwell Group, in 2001 and was responsible for placing candidates within the IT/technology divisions across the entire organisation, during which he built up the internal IT recruitment function. In 2006, the group sold to a private equity company, and along with other members of the senior team, Howard decided to continue delivering recruitment solutions for the external client base through the newly formed, Assured Recruitment. As director of executive recruitment, Howard focuses on recruiting senior-level candidates for some of the fastest growing, private equity and venture capital-backed companies in the country.