Leadership Secrets of Elizabeth I: Successful Strategies in the Face of Adversity

9780756784829: Leadership Secrets of Elizabeth I: Successful Strategies in the Face of Adversity

In the nearly 45 years of her rule, Elizabeth I created and presided over one of the most dynamic political and cultural transitions in the history of the world. Her acheivements stemmed from extraordinary intelligence, unsurpassed communication skills, clear visions and a passionate belief in her nation and its people. As ruler, strategist, warror and woman, she was unsurpassed.

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Given the recent publication of two management books about Queen Elizabeth I, it seems wise to wonder why a 16th century monarch has become the "It girl" for 21st century leaders. The answer is found in consultants Shaun O'L. Higgins and Pamela Gilberd's incisive and entertaining Leadership Secrets of Elizabeth I. The authors have created vivid vignettes from Good Queen Bess's remarkable 45-year reign and translated her leadership challenges into contemporary business settings. They describe the mission they accomplish: "applying Elizabethan practices--'Bess' practices--that can help you establish the 'best practices' for your organization." Still, their portrait of Elizabeth is so compelling on its own terms, it is clearly not a book solely for business leaders or women.

The authors deftly review Elizabeth's resume: divorcing her dysfunctional family, establishing the Church of England, restoring the value of English coinage, laying the foundation of the British Empire, and sponsoring the Shakespeare-driven golden age of English literature. Then, they offer powerful, non-gimmicky analysis of "Elizabethan" leadership practices that fueled her rise to power, consolidated her position as a woman leading an all-male government, and sent her competitors packing. One instructive chapter explores Elizabeth as the first spin doctor--a pioneer in the public relations technique of branding; another offers a practical analysis of her famously slow decision-making.

In contrast to Alan Axelrod's Elizabeth I, CEO, a book that underlines business strategies drawn from Elizabeth's tenure, O'L. Higgins and Gilberd also interviewed 100 female executives and experts, including retired Brigadier General Karen Rankin and University of California Management Professor Judith Rosener, who describe Elizabethan-style examples and insights from their own organizations. In some cases, these leaders offer provocative parallels. Yet at times, their comments pale in comparison to the brilliant model of leadership that Elizabeth established in the age that bears her name. --Barbara Mackoff

About the Author:

Shaun O’L. Higgins, CEO of the Houston-Based Print Marketing Concepts, is an Elizabethan history expert. A prolific writer and frequent speaker at business conferences internationally, he is author of several books including his most recent: Never Give a Sucker an Even Break: WC Fields on Business. He lives in Spokane, Washington.

Pamela Gilberd, a direct descendent of Elizabeth’s lady in waiting, Dorcas Sydney, is a writer and consultant on business and career issues. She has written for The Wall Street Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, Cosmopolitan, and Executive Female. Her previous books include The 11 Commandments of Wildly Successful Woman. She lives in Carnelian Bay, California.

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