A few reflections from our Communications Team on this historical day.
As some of our company’s team members gathered together today to pay our respects to Queen Elizabeth II, we could not help but reflect on the sacrifice of Servant Leadership.
Hers was a life dedicated to her subjects and to serving them with grace, dignity and an unparalleled sense of duty.
On April 21, 1947, on her 21st birthday, she made a profound declaration:
“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”Queen Elizabeth II
Today, we celebrated her life of 70 years of devoted service as the world watched her final farewell.
As we watched, we could not help but acknowledge the sacrifices that she made to fulfil her promise.
The Sacrifice Of Servant Leadership
Queen Elizabeth II made many sacrifices as she delivered on her commitment to Servant Leadership. Perhaps, the greatest sacrifice of all was time spent with family. The stories of the challenges and struggles that her children faced abound. There is evidence in the fact that of her four children, the marriages of three of them ended in divorce. The dramas were played out under the close scrutiny of the media. One cannot help but wonder if the price for such duty was too high.
This was the central theme of our discussions today as we enjoyed tea, crumpets, toast and marmalade for breakfast and bangers and mash for lunch.
Leadership is not for the faint-hearted, of that we are certain. And yet, many people clammer to jump into for the wrong reasons.
Preparation Requires Sacrifice
Queen Elizabeth II was not born to be Queen. Her father, King George VI and her mother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother ensured that she was prepared for the undertaking.
This preparation is where the sacrifice began.
Those of us who aspire to such high offices need to understand this. It is difficult, if not impossible, to appropriately and adequately prepare yourself for leadership without letting go of “business as usual“.
We wondered how many play opportunities she sacrificed as she prepared for her role.
As you choose to work your way towards positions of leadership, there are changes that are necessary for you to be effective and successful. Those changes demand congruent behaviour.
Queen Elizabeth II did not talk about Servant Leadership as though she was detached from it.
She lived it!
Choice Brings Self Sacrifice
Queen Elizabeth II is remembered for never missing an event. As an example, she first attended the Trooping of the Colour in 1947. After becoming Queen in 1952 she only missed the event on one occasion.
In 1955 there was a national rail strike and the whole event had to be cancelled.
Two days before her death on September 8, 2022, the Queen welcomed Britain’s new Prime Minister, Liz Truss to Balmoral Castle.
We wondered if she was aware that her time with us was nearing an end.
We wondered if she was in pain.
From the photographs that we saw, it was not evident.
She conducted herself with her usual grace, dignity and warmth.
The Sacrifice Of Family
One can easily argue that Royals are born into a gifted life of privilege and entitlement. But when you now look at King Charles III, you are compelled to wonder if the price of it all is worth it.
Things appear to have worked out well for King Charles III. He has a perfect heir, thanks to his first wife and he now enjoys the support of the person many call his Soul Mate.
But, we wondered how different things would have been if Queen Elizabeth II had the gift of a life without the sacrifices that she had to make.
If she had more time to raise her children and be with her family, would the generations that followed have been able to enjoy happy marriages and relationships?
We will never know.
What is known is that the demands of Servant Leadership are many. It requires so much of you that there may be little left for much else.
Closing Thoughts . . .
At LaMP International Limited, we spend a lot of our time researching and discussing leadership We share our experiences and examine the lessons that they give us.
Our Founder and Managing Director and two of our Partners have close ties to the United Kingdom. We also have wonderful Clients there. Today, we honoured them by taking some time out to reflect on the life of the only British Monarch we have all ever known.
For 70 years, the world has watched the sacrifice of Servant Leadership play out in the life of Queen Elizabeth II. For many of us, the empathy was so deep that we could almost feel her pain.
After all, she was a daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, godmother and friend to hundreds.
If she complained, we did not see it.
Everyone has spoken about her smile, her laughter, her attentiveness, her presence, her commitment and her love for her people.
It is for all those things – and more – that her legacy will forever be etched in history.
May Queen Elizabeth II, Elizabeth R, Lilibet, forever rest peacefully.
About The Authors
This was a collective effort of the Communications Team at LaMP International Limited in memory of Queen Elizabeth II.