Queen Elizabeth II’s life of service is a powerful source of inspiration. Here are three simple lessons about life and leadership to take away from her remarkable reign.




With the world changing so rapidly, it’s vital to capture what lessons in life that we can, wherever we can.  This week’s historic and ceremonial events are a golden opportunity for just that.

Hey Everyone, it’s Dr.   Karen Kendrick, and welcome back to Mastery Now.

This week has been a pretty eventful week, and with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, as well as the new UK Prime Minister taking office, and the 9/11 ceremonies here in the U.S., there’s been a lot going on.  And so with all this news coverage, in particular, I’ve been watching and reading a lot about the Queen’s passing.

Now, many of you may know that even though I’m an American, my last name Kendrick, is Scottish, and so my ancestors, from many generations ago, are from Scotland.  So that’s probably one of the reasons that I’ve always felt a strong connection with the UK and followed what’s happening there.

But the other reason that I found myself drawn to so much of the coverage of the Queen’s passing this week is because I think she’s provided us with some very important reminders and lessons for life.

So in this short episode, I just want to share three simple things that I’ve taken away from her life and legacy that I think are really important to remember about who we are and what kind of life we lead.  And also how we might want to be remembered.

So the first lesson or reminder that I took away from the Queen’s passing is just that showing up consistently and reliably in life matters.  There are so many ways in which we can be called to show up.    Whether it’s on our job, or for our kids event at their school, or to provide support to a friend when they’re struggling.  It’s all about being there and doing what’s needed, even when we don’t feel like it.

Now that consistency and reliability that Queen Elizabeth brought provided so much stability, and comfort, and trust to so many people.  She never wavered.  She could always be counted on.  And that’s such an important quality to have in so many different contexts.

It matters when you’re a parent, so that your kids feel safe and loved and validated.  It matters when you’re an entrepreneur, because you’re going to have lots of ups and downs, and some days when you’re going to feel like giving up.  But when you just show up, that makes all the difference between success and failure.

It also matters when you’re a loving partner or friend, so that you build deeper bonds of trust and connection, so that they’ll know that you’re going to be there for them.  And it matters when you’re a leader, because people need to know that they can rely on you to be present or to make the right decision, or to step up and take action when it’s called for.

So showing up is so critical.  We must do this even when it’s inconvenient, or hard, or boring, or mentally draining.  If you really want to have what you want in life, whether it’s amazing and fulfilling relationships, or a thriving business, or a career as an admired and respected leader, you must step up and show up consistently and reliably for people.

The second reminder or take away from the Queen’s passing is just, how you make people feel matters.  I think it’s so easy to forget the impact that we have on other people.  And how we interact and communicate with others can have a huge difference in the quality of our relationships, and the level of success that we can achieve.

You know, it was Maya Angelo who’s quoted as saying that she had learned that people will forget what you said, and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.  And this is such a powerful and timeless truth.  At the end of the day, we’re all emotional creatures.  We can’t help it.  We’re impacted by words and actions of others, whether it’s positive or negative.  And even though some people are more thick skinned than others, we all have feelings at some level to a degree.


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So I think that’s another one of the reasons that so many people are feeling saddened by the Queen’s passing.  And I think that’s because she was great at making people feel good.  She made positive, uplifting comments.   She reassured people.   She avoided making negative comments about other people.   And she used her humor to make people laugh. 

Now, that doesn’t mean we all have to be or act exactly like a queen in order to do this.  But I do think that it’s an important reminder about paying attention to the impact that you have on people.  The Queen was acutely aware that people were watching her every move, her every interaction.  And so she had to be disciplined and astute in terms of what the context was, and to observe and say the right thing in the right moment. 

Now, that doesn’t mean for you that you have to be perfect all the time in what you say and do.  In fact, most of us make mistakes from time to time, and that’s what it means to be human.  But the point is to pay attention to what you’re doing and saying, and look at the impact that you’re having on people with these words and actions. 

And you can have a much deeper and fulfilling set of relationships in life when you’re able to make people feel important, or worthy, or special, or hopeful, or empowered.  So I encourage you to think about, how do you want to make people feel?  What impact do you want to have? 

So when you start from that premise and you know what your intentions are, then you’ll be more likely to be more intentional with your interactions, and hopefully make a positive impact. 

Now, the third and final takeaway and reminder is that leadership and service matter.  In today’s world, it’s easy to get cynical about our leaders and politicians and feel like nothing’s changing or improving.    With so many leaders being called out for questionable ethics, or behavior, or poor decisions, I think a lot of people have lost faith. 

And so that’s why leadership, now more than ever, is so important.  We need people that give us hope, or comfort, or direction, or an inspiring vision of the future.  We need people that we can rely on to do the right thing or to handle crises.  And we need people that role model what excellence in serving others looks like. 

And this is yet another of the many reasons why I think Queen Elizabeth was admired and appreciated so much.  She was a leader in so many ways.  And she served in so many ways.    And she gave people what they needed.  Continuity, inspiration, comfort, someone to look up to, and so on.  And she did this consistently for over 70 years with, depending on who you talk to, only a handful of missteps during that time.  So that’s pretty remarkable when you think about how many gaffes or misjudgments or poor decisions that an average CEO or politician or world leader often makes within a much shorter career or job tenure. 

And many of these leaders wind up losing their jobs over their mistakes or in discretions.  In fact, CEOs in particular often don’t make it in their positions longer than five years.  And a 2018 study of CEO success reported that forced turnover among the world’s 2, 500 largest companies was at 20%.  So 20% of CEOs are losing their jobs because of performance or ethical lapses.  In fact, ethical lapses are accounting for a bigger proportion of firings than ever before. 

So, again, that’s another reason why I think Queen Elizabeth’s reign and leadership are so remarkable.  She was a beacon of hope and good character, and we need that as a reminder and an example of who to be and how to be, and who we can aspire to be.

 So leadership matters.  Good leadership matters.  Our world depends on it.  So I share this with you as a call to action, as you think about your own life and your own leadership, even if you don’t have a formal leadership title.  Think about what more you can be doing to provide help, and hope, and direction, and inspiration, and service to those around you.  Because it’s in your hands to make a difference and have an impact. 

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