10 Things Business Professionals Can Learn From Queen Elizabeth II

The PR Maven®, CEO & Founder, Marshall Communications, creating & implementing marketing/PR/personal branding strategies.

It’s been a couple of months since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, but the loss still hurts. Many of us were saddened to hear the news, and it still makes me sad today.

In 2011, my agency was chosen to promote and publicize the royal memorabilia across North America for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton—one of the great honors of my career. So we know a thing or two about the royal family.

The queen lived a long life. She lived a good life, and she left the world in a much better place than she found it. Over the decades, the queen also taught us many valuable lessons. She reigned for 70 years, after all!

Here are 10 things that professionals can learn from her seven-decade reign:

Consistency is reassuring. People want a leader like the queen, who is consistent in how they comport themselves and takes a stand on tough issues. When adversity hits, leaders need to stay calm, cool and collected, empowering their followers with confidence rather than making them anxious or fearful.

• Preparation should be prioritized. Preparation prevents poor performance. It also allows you to serve others more effectively—whether it’s your employees, co-workers or a country writ large. To quote the queen, “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be dedicated to your service.”

• It’s alright to be silly once in a while. Life is serious business, and work is one of its most serious components. But you have to find time to have fun. Retain your inner child. There’s a reason why the queen enjoyed drinking tea with Paddington Bear or performing stunts with James Bond. She was silly, too!

• Show up and wave to the people. Throughout her life, the queen was extremely accessible. People saw a lot of her, and that made her more popular. Employers and bosses should adopt the same approach, interacting with their workers instead of closing themselves off. Employees appreciate it when they can speak to their boss every so often, so be a man or woman of the people.

• Write letters and send them in the mail. The queen was famous for her written correspondence, writing letters to celebrities and everyday people alike. It’s a much deeper and warmer way to interact with people who are important to you than texting or emailing. If anything, sending letters in the mail stands out even more in today’s digital world, showing people just how much you care.

• Family is everything, but every family has issues. It’s challenging to be successful at work if your personal life is in disrepair. Stability at home makes your professional life more stable, too. The queen obviously had issues with her children and grandchildren (like we all do), but she remained in charge to the end. We’re all flawed, but never forget the importance of family.

• It helps to have a right-hand man or woman. Prince Philip stood by the queen’s side throughout their marriage, providing her with a steady hand at home. Like family in general, that sort of loving relationship is very important. It makes work just a bit less challenging since you have someone to lean on in times of personal or professional crisis.

• Hobbies are healthy. The queen famously enjoyed corgis, horse racing and walkabouts. Activities like that are healthy parts of a fulfilling life since they keep you occupied and push you to strive for more. Perfecting a hobby and improving yourself go hand in hand. Skiing is one of my favorites, contributing positively to my mental and physical health (plus the après-ski).

• Know how to serve tea. As my mom, who passed in June, always said, “We all need to know how to make a proper tea.” When a visitor comes to your home or office, it’s helpful to know how to properly host them, whether it’s sharing a “cuppa” or a glass of red wine. Accompany the drinks with festive dishes and trays of food. Hosting encourages you to treat others like you want to be treated.

• Stick with it—even when it’s hard. As the longest-reigning British monarch in history, the queen stuck with her job through thick and thin. She was always there, persevering and fighting on. It may have looked easy because she was a royal, but everyone was always looking at her, commenting on her family and judging the royals in one way or another. That takes a toll, but the queen always handled herself with grace and humility.

May she rest in peace—forever and always.

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