Girls in Leadership
Training girls early to be powerful leaders is essential. I started teaching an Effective Leadership and Management Course at UC Berkeley about two years ago. While doing this I would often think I really should be teaching this to the third graders I teach language arts to. Unlike many adults these kids are full of confidence and brimming with fascinating ideas that they wholeheartedly believe in. They have not yet had the idea of complete self trust diminished. So, quite suddenly I decided to form a group for local girls. The response was astonishing. Needless to say, it’s been an amazing experience for all involved.
We are now half way through and next week I introduce Queen Elisabeth I of Tudor England. I decided to focus on her because she was a Machiavellian leader. She had her cousin beheaded for conspiring to kill her. I asked one of my grade school students why she would do that and she said, “Because she was going to kill her first.” Great leaders preserve their security and peace at all costs.
Queen Elizabeth I demonstrated unassailable power. She returned a frail England to power, defending her country and securing a place in history. Because of her the United Kingdom would reign as a powerful force in the world for years to come.
I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too. — Queen Elizabeth I
How did she do it? First of all, she was strategic and capable of quickly and accurately extrapolating outcomes. She was clever at holding her cards close to her chest and played England and Spain against each other for most of her reign. She used every resource in her power and was often vague and deceptive. She understood power and was an astute listener.
I observe and remain silent. — Queen Elizabeth I
She believed that Queens must dress and look the part of a Queen. Some may think the way a woman dresses shouldn’t matter. However, I believe looking the part can’t hurt and for her it definitely helped.
Her most important attribute was courage. She was above all else fearless. Fearlessness isn’t the absence of fear but the mastery of it.
These are timeless concepts we can all use in our own modern lives to become better leaders.
First published by sydneychaneythomas.com.