Welcome to the Global CEO (UK) blog. Its aim is to draw attention to developments and ideas in the world of supply management and in the work of the profession’s Institute.
We change the blog monthly, and I would welcome your comments personally on firstname.lastname@example.org
David Noble FCIPS
End of an era
The passing of the first female Prime Minister this country has ever had has triggered an extraordinary amount of media coverage. Margaret Thatcher was someone who divided opinion more than any other peacetime leader. There was nothing middle of the road about her. She had strong convictions she was determined to see through and, famously, was not for turning.
Her politics I will leave to others to evaluate. What her time in office teaches us about leadership, though, and her legacy in terms of her impact on today’s business economics, are, however, issues which have relevance for us in our own profession.
It is easy to be a leader when everything is going well. Where true leadership really counts is when the going gets tough. When life becomes uncertain, clarity of vision and willingness to take difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions can make all the difference between success and failure. Margaret Thatcher was not afraid of the consequences of choosing a difficult path.
From a business perspective, the Thatcher years marked the embracing of a market-driven economy which remains with us more than two decades on, more or less unchanged by intervening Labour governments. She was largely responsible for creating the world we work in, pursuing wealth creation while restricting public spending, and of course privatising Rolls-Royce, British Airways and other giants of our industrial heartland. The belief in tight monetary policy and the control of inflation has influenced fiscal policy ever since.
Margaret Thatcher has taken her place in history as a major shaper of the UK business and economic landscape and her influence will be felt for a long time to come.
Catch up with my column in Supply Management magazine