Leadership & Performance: the importance of Role Models

#Juliet Hull

When I’m coaching people new to leadership, or those looking for a style that can lift their performance, I encourage them to observe leaders who inspire or impress them.

If there’s a leader you admire, consider how they engage people and what you like about the way they operate.

Queen Elizabeth II

The recent passing of the Queen prompted me to think about why I admired her leadership, which in many ways was exemplary.

I acknowledge she has had her critics and that like any human being, not every decision she made was beyond reproach. That said, I feel that on the whole, she was an outstanding leader. 

Key leadership traits

A key trait that resonated with me (one that I was told about by a senior leader), was the Queen’s ability to absorb the stress of the people she was leading – be it for her family or her subjects.

She radiated calm and was almost always seen as having a steadying influence.

Even when things went wrong, it was evident that she absorbed the turbulence, formulated a plan and carried it out with no signs of panic.

The Queen seemed to never be one for knee-jerk reactions, even when sorely tested. By staying calm and absorbing stress, she reassured others.

Show that you care

One only has to look at the response to her televised Coronavirus Address, to observe how she was able to comfort her people with calm, kind words in a time of fear and suffering.

Her other notable qualities were honesty and integrity. She was genuine and cared for others – her unstinting life of service proved this.

The many anecdotes emerging about the Queen after her death, speak of a woman who was kind and thoughtful – for whom ego played no part.

As I mentioned before, she wasn’t perfect and some things during her reign went awry, but I believe she acted with positive intent and that was frequently evident during her 70 years as our monarch.

So, I urge those looking for key leadership traits to emulate, to follow her example of remaining calm and absorbing the stress of your team in difficult times … To be genuine and demonstrate that you care. That will build a strong bond with your people, which will stand you in good stead if things occasionally go wrong.

See my video for more thoughts on this.


I’m also an independent director who enjoys making a difference for organisations with a sense of social responsibility. If you have a vacancy on your Board and want a partnership with excellence, reach out to chat.