Rest In Peace Your Majesty – We’ve just lost the best Servant Leader the world has ever seen

Queen Elizabeth has died, may she rest in peace. Like all of you reading this post, she has been a constant presence in our lives for so long and she will be missed. In the insightful words of poet laureate Simon Armitage’s poem Floral Tribute:

“The country loaded its whole self into your slender hands. Hands that can rest, now, relieved of a century’s weight.”

I am not a dedicated loyalist. In truth I have an admiration and appreciation for people who want to disrupt the status-quo and can summon the courage to take on the established order. Such Game Changers can bring new thinking into the world, but they do tend to cause a stir! The late Queen, in contrast, showed us all that she understood that evolution is a force for change too. One that, steadfastly applied with dedication and care, over time can create a change sustainability rarely found in revolutionary ideology. Current leaders take note, not everything has to be done tomorrow!

Elizabeth the Great Servant Leader

As a leader, surrounded by all the pomp and ceremony of State and office, the late Queen continued to guide and lead, over many decades. Her steadfast dedication over her 70 year reign is nothing short of remarkable. She helped 15 elected Prime Ministers with their own challenges, deploying with good grace and a remarkable patience by all accounts, the 5 key tenants of great servant leadership:

  • Valuing Peopleher feeling for her subjects was clear for all to see. Literally a life-long service to the people she dedicated her life to serve.
  • Humility she showed concern to all who met her. Recognising their nerves and excitement and setting them at ease with her keen sense of self-deprecation, quickness of mind and sense of humour.
  • Listening – I was struck by the Prime Ministers who, when reflecting on her reign, recall how in their private audiences, she listened first and guided second. A true exponent of the adage ‘remain curious longer and rush to action slower.’
  • Trust – Boris Johnson, himself a victim of trust ebbing alarmingly and disastrously away, recalled how her Covid address to the nation was so impactful. We were in the grip of the pandemic, and the Queen calmly reassured us all that we will get through this, and we will meet friends and family again. This broadcast had an impact that no Prime Minister, or any group of celebrities, could ever muster. Put simply, we trusted the Queen so her reassurance hit home.
  • Caring – Despite many, many very public family rows, discretions and misdemeanours, the Queen showed us that she cared deeply for her family and for the nation as a whole. She was quite simply the nations’ mother and grandmother and she will be sorely missed.

Her life of service set the bar very high indeed. Like all leaders, she recognised her role was to leave the world in a better place than she found it. You did a great job your Majesty!

May King Charles III have the wisdom, courage and good grace to live up to her standards. I for one wish him well.

God save the King!