February 21, 2019 | 03:55 PM

Millionaire Mindset

09.04.2013Margaret Thatcher - An icon of Leadership Courage

With the passing of Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the most iconic, formidable and courageous leaders of the 20th Century.

Margie Warrell, Forbes.com

With the passing of Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the most iconic, formidable and courageous leaders of the 20th Century.  There are many things the world came to admire about Margaret Thatcher, the daughter of a shopkeeper whose sense of purpose to make a difference paved her way to the highest rungs of power in the United Kingdom, and the world. Of them all, what I admired most was her courage.

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Thatcher once said, “You can’t lead from a crowd.” She certainly didn’t. However it would be a mistake to assume that she didn’t have moments of doubt, nor fear the wrath she would face by standing up against Britain’s most powerful unions.  However her conviction to stand by the principles over rode her fear of the consequences. When many might have cowered, she stepped forward. When many may have watered down their stance, she held firm. And when many might have succumbed to the pressure of their peers to take an easier path, less fraught with conflict and confrontation, she kept walking straight along the only path she saw could create the changes Britain so needed.

Of course it’s easy for we lesser mortals to think she was made of something different. More steel (or perhaps psychological Teflon), less fear. She did, after all, earn the title “The Iron Lady” for a reason. However the traits that marked her leadership, and indeed her life, are as available to the rest of us. We just aren’t as committed to strengthening them. The truth is that we all possess the ability to act with courage, bounce back with resilience and persevere with determination. Most of us just haven’t found a big enough “Why” to put in the effort, take the risk and make the sacrifices involved.

At the core of all that made Margaret Thatcher Margaret Thatcher – a brand name in her own right – was an unwavering commitment to live a life that mattered – to make the difference she could.  That was her “Why.”  Nothing was ever handed to her on a plate. In the chauvinistic chambers of British government, a woman daring to become a leader was not only an anomaly; it was, for many, laughable. In a culture so steeped in class distinction, who on earth did this working class girl, a lowly shopkeepers daughter, think she was?

One of the many lessons her life and legacy has for the rest of us is not to let our own inner voice of “Who are you to do that?” get the better of us. Both metaphorically and literally. Too often it does. Had Margaret Thatcher ever given power to those voices of doubt – which I am sure she had – the world would have missed out on the leadership, the influence, and the contribution of one remarkable women.

As I wrote in my latest book Stop Playing Safe, in today’s competitive workplace and cautious world, the people who are willing to commit themselves to making a difference – and to stand their ground, persevere and risk the ridicule and wrath of those around them – will be those who will leave a legacy long after they have gone.

As the world mourns the loss of an extraordinary leader – and a true icon of courage – I think we owe it to ourselves to pause, reflect and ask ourselves where it is that we need to dig a little deeper into our own reserves of courage in order to live a life that truly matters and let us leave the world that bit better off – not just because of what we did, but who we became by doing it.

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