Elizabeth I has long been one of my favorite historical figures. She overcame monstrous obstacles to ascend the British throne, only to discover that her country was financially in shambles, vulnerable, with no army or navy to speak of, religiously divided, and with nothing to offer the world culturally.
Very few wanted her in power. She was the “bastard queen” who had been declared illegitimate by her father, King Henry VIII. Her mother, Anne Boleyn, had been executed for treason when she was 3 years old. Her brother Edward Vi cut her from the line of succession and her half-sister Mary locked her up in the Tower of London for a year when she was young. under suspicion of treason. Here was a woman with some serious problems to overcome.
However, she became a great queen. She is arguably the best England has ever known. At the end of her reign of forty-five years, on the day of her death, March 24, 1603, England was the richest and most powerful nation in Europe.
Alan Axelrod, who also wrote “Patton On Leadership,” follows up with another bestseller in Elizabeth l CEO. In this book, he examines Elizabeth’s leadership qualities that propelled her to pull her country out of the gaping hole she found herself in and put it on the map as one of the world’s most powerful powers.
However, you will not find a long historical diatribe in this book. Elizabeth l CEO is broken down into 136 easy-to-digest pieces. Three of my favorites are
23. A leader is never crushed under the weight of a grudge.
80. Always leave it on the line
121. Make the most of the least – Leverage
With headlines like these, Mr. Axelrod brings Elizabeth’s style and values to life with pragmatism and humor. We learn that the lessons she learned centuries ago are still valid lessons to learn now.
Elizabeth l CEO is written for anyone who is in or wants a leadership position. I find it especially suitable for women in leadership. It’s an easy read with valuable lessons on running a business from a queen who rose to power in the midst of disaster, turned the unpopular tide, and became one of our greatest leaders.