Recently, we have seen England's venerable Queen Elizabeth I portrayed in popular movies as both a wise supporting character and powerful leading lady. Now, thanks to historian and author Alan Axelrod, we can not only see the 16th-century monarch as a single woman who turned the fortunes of an entire nation around--we can apply many of the traits and practices of Good Queen Bess to our own business lives. "You can learn that being a leader is being a leader, whether your enterprise is a Renaissance kingdom, a small business, a major corporation, a corporate department, or a three-person work group with a job to do," Axelrod writes in Elizabeth I, CEO
. Like other authors who relate the conduct and writings of a historical figure to situations in the modern world (including himself in Patton on Leadership
), Axelrod uses Elizabeth's behavior and words to frame a blueprint for corporate survival, personal image building, staff development, control, and--ultimately--success. The author draws 136 pointers from Elzabeth's life, each amplified with lively, germane anecdotes. Among them: "Control the Message, not the Messenger," "No Leader Is a Solo Act," and "Forgive, but Don't Forget." --Howard Rothman
From Publishers Weekly
Who could possibly offer better leadership lessons than one of the most powerful women in history? Axelrod (Patton on Leadership, etc.) details more than 100 leadership principles based on Queen Elizabeth's style of statesmanship. Having assumed the throne during a time of economic and religious turmoil, she helped rebuild England and strengthen its position in the world during her four decades as queen. Some of the lessons drawn from her reign are simplistic and obvious, such as "Knowledge Really Is Power," based on the queen's voracious appetite for reading and her study of Greek and Latin. "Keep a Clear Head and an Even Keel" derives from the monarch's ability to hold her temper; during difficult negotiations, she would occasionally leave the room to walk outside. Other lessons deserve more attention from today's executives, such as "Make a Spectacle of Yourself": Axelrod avers that a leader must motivate employees with more than the bottom line, and that theatrical gestures can be an effective source of inspiration. In a similar vein, Axelrod exhorts, "Be a Great Communicator": "An effective leader thinks about what he says, carefully crafting each utterance of any significance." While history fans will enjoy the brief portraits of Queen Elizabeth's governing style in various circumstances, those seeking penetrating management insights may be disappointed that not every lesson applies equally to today's corporate leaders. $200,000 ad/promo; 3-city tour; 20-city radio satellite tour.
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