Leadership – ‘If’

R.I.P. Margaret Thatcher (13 October 1925 – 8 April 2013) I admired your strength of character; you had the COURAGE of your convictions. Your focus and patriotic dedication to your country was a wonderful example of true LEADERSHIP

The Iron Lady, who was not for turning, was both revered and reviled; she would get the top vote for most hated and most loved politician in the same public opinion poll. One thing everyone agrees, like any true leader she was RESPECTED

The labour party said ‘Thatcher’s death is no time for celebration on the Left – we should be focused on the Britain we want to build.

Her ability to influence can be summed up with this laugh out loud quote on her legacy: ‘her greatest achievement: TONY BLAIR!’ ~ quote from Ann Widdecombe on the news of Margaret Thatcher’s passing

Lord Sugar ‏(@Lord_Sugar18h) tweeted ‘Margaret Thatcher died today. A great lady she changed the face of British politics, created opportunity for anyone to succeed in the UK. RIP’

Lord Archer paid tribute to Baroness Thatcher, and said one of her most impressive features was that, “there was no snobbery, no side, that didn’t interest her at all”.

“She was interested in results, getting things done, that’s what interested her, but another of her great qualities was loyalty,” he added.

“She was someone more likely to walk towards you when you were in trouble. I can think of some who did walk away, some who turned their heads, not Margaret Thatcher, not her style.”

Despite his admiration for his former boss, Lord Archer admitted that she was “the devil” to work for at times: “You’d go into Downing Street and you’d sit with her and you knew you were going to present a case to her and what you knew was, she’d have a firm view, and if you were absolutely sure you were right, you had to fight your corner.”

Listening to Thatcher supporter British Army veteran Simon Weston OBE (born 8 August 1961) who became well known throughout the United Kingdom for his recovery and charity work after suffering severe burn injuries during the Falklands War – I am reminded of Rudyard Kipling’s (1865-1936) inspirational poem ‘If’

‘if’ by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Meryl Streep, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Ladyreleased a statement this afternoon following the news of the former prime minister’s death:

Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics.

It is hard to imagine a part of our current history that has not been affected by measures she put forward in the UK at the end of the 20th century. Her hard-nosed fiscal measures took a toll on the poor, and her hands-off approach to financial regulation led to great wealth for others. There is an argument that her steadfast, almost emotional loyalty to the pound sterling has helped the UK weather the storms of European monetary uncertainty.

But to me she was a figure of awe for her personal strength and grit. To have come up, legitimately, through the ranks of the British political system, class bound and gender phobic as it was, in the time that she did and the way that she did, was a formidable achievement. To have won it, not because she inherited position as the daughter of a great man, or the widow of an important man, but by dint of her own striving. To have withstood the special hatred and ridicule, unprecedented in my opinion, leveled in our time at a public figure who was not a mass murderer; and to have managed to keep her convictions attached to fervent ideals and ideas- wrongheaded or misguided as we might see them now-without corruption- I see that as evidence of some kind of greatness, worthy for the argument of history to settle. To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was ground-breaking and admirable.

I was honored to try to imagine her late life journey, after power; but I have only a glancing understanding of what her many struggles were, and how she managed to sail through to the other side. I wish to convey my respectful condolences to her family and many friends.

☆¨¯`♥ ¸.☆¨¯`♥ ¸.☆¨¯`♥

‘If’ you are looking for a role model for LEADERSHIP look no further than the qualities displayed by Margaret Thatcher. She stood for hard work, self reliance and individual liberty.

Her selfless dedication to her country, her determination and sticking to her principles is to be admired.

Leadership words people use to describe her include : Focus, Results, Dedication, Courage, Respect and Loyalty (although ironically the betrayal by her own party showed that her loyalty was unrequited by some)

Did she get the work life balance right? – That is debateable, and can only be answered by her family, compromises are easier when you have a mission that is supported by a loving family and her beloved Dennis was her biggest supporter. She put service to the UK as such a high priority and she was true to her own values.

It has been announced that the first volume of Margaret Thatcher’s authorised biography will be published after her funeral. The book, written by ex-Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore and called Not For Turning, was commissioned in 1997 on the understanding it would not be published during her lifetime.

Margaret Thatcher an incredible woman, she was an icon of individualism, not of feminism – our one and only female Prime Minister, with the heart and courage of the strongest man.


Mrs Thatcher

One Comment

  • Posted November 7, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    In a TV interview for Thames TV on Feb. 5, 1976, Prime Minister Thatcher said, “…and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.”

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