Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Wisdom, leadership and having a bit of courage

‘Wisdom is choosing to do now what we will be satisfied with later.’

Joyce Meyer

Yesterday, Margaret Thatcher died. This news among my many emotions, took me back to my childhood in the eighties and also to my undergraduate dissertation. It was entitled 'Thatcherism and the geography of share ownership in the UK'. As part of the literature review, I think I read just about everything written about Margaret Thatcher and her political times and thought and I was particularly impacted by the late Hugo Young's 'One of Us' . You can read a reflective piece that Young wrote in 2003 called 'Margaret Thatcher left a dark legacy that has still not disappeared'. This is the quote from it that stood out:

'I think by far her greatest virtue, in retrospect, is how little she cared if people liked her. She wanted to win, but did not put much faith in the quick smile. She needed followers, as long as they went in her frequently unpopular directions. This is a political style, an aesthetic even, that has disappeared from view. '

[Hugo Young]

As I reflect on her life here are some thoughts that come to mind.

1. She was a conviction leader (see more here)

2. She stayed married and faithful

3. She didn't mind being unpopular

4. She understood thrift and learnt it from running her father's grocery store

5. She lead and won a war

6. She didn't expect people to cut her some slack because she was a woman

7. She understood the power of words

8. She often took the hard road

9. She made mistakes

10. She understood the value of hard work

11. She believed educating people in things for which there is no work was a waste of resources.  

12. She understood it's hard to sell things no one wants to buy or that you can get better and cheaper elsewhere.

For what it's worth, as I studied her life and convictions I became a great admirer and confess that as time has passed this has not wained. Feel free to disagree.

One tweet by Charlie Peer summed it up when he wrote:

'Watching Thatcher footage made me nostalgic for politicians (of all parties) who actually knew what they believed in' 

I must agree.

For another take do also read Adrian Warnock.


KeyReed said...

A great post, considering the dreadful stuff on Yahoo reporting that a certain song is selling well!

Anonymous said...

If you come from an ex-mining community in north Nottinghamshire your views might be slightly different.Contrary to the prayer she famously quoted Maggie Thatcher certainly didn't bring hope and she didn't dispel despair in North Nottinghamshire. Through her policies this area has been left with little investment, no jobs and ten of thousands are totally dependent upon welfare that the current government is intent upon destroying.Norman Ramsden