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Elizabeth I CEO: Strategic Lessons from the Leader Who Built an Empire
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Elizabeth I CEO: Strategic Lessons from the Leader Who Built an Empire

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  309 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Few leadership titles have been written on the lives of women. Alan Axelrod, noted historian and business management expert, reveals how Elizabeth I overcame daunting obstacles to win intense loyalty and lead England to greatness.

The queen's long reign offers lessons on: developing a leadership attitude and image enhanced by personal dynamism; becoming an effective coach a
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Prentice Hall Press (first published 2000)
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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  309 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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May 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
"In 1558, she inherited a business in trouble...forty five years later, England was the richest and most powerful nation in Europe". How did Elizabeth I go from a teenager in peril to a queen of the golden ages? In clear, comfortable form Alan Axelrod gives glimpses into her long reign, and what advice a leader can find. Perfect for folk new to Elizabeth or old timers looking for another twist, it gives great insight into the life of a queen, and the life of a leader. For all ages and walks of l ...more
Amy Kauderer
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I found this book under "Leadership" and "Business". While it does have leadership headlines, nothing here is new. Some of the headlines seem to have nothing to do with what is written under it to expand on the headline.
But it isn't a complete waste of time if you like history yet don't know that much about Queen Elizabeth I of England. The author does a good job on putting her leadership in its historic place and giving some background.
It is an easy read and if you like leadership and history
Feb 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Lesson number 1: A Leader never panic, or at least don't show it. display a strength of character, a refusal to be intimidated, and a choice never to panic. and a leader must learn the art of survival.

Lesson number 2: complaining about others and getting them into trouble would ultimately backfire on you. It would furthur spread the rumor. Persuasive people, the closers of deals, never impose, never browbeat. instead, they present their point of view so that it becomes the point of view of the
Jane Fournier
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have always been fascinated by Henry the VIII and
Elizabeth his daughter with Anne Boleyn. This book caught my eye while shopping in a used book store. I read it in three days. Very interesting combining the History of Queen Elizabeth I reign and lessons to learn on how to run (be a CEO) of a company. I found it easily compared to conditions in our country today and how she handled similar problems during her reign from 1558 until her death in 1603. Lesson 1. Cherish Core Values. Wow, wouldn't
Learned a little about Elizabeth & almost nothing about leadership.
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminist-studies
I really enjoyed this book, but unlike a story or an epic, there was no reason to be glued to it continuously; you can put it down and then pick it up again when you have the time; no hurry you won't lose the rhythm. Its constructed as a "how-to" reference in some ways. As a woman who has led a pretty non-conventional life and also run a business in a male dominated field, I really enjoyed Alan's honesty about what Elizabeth was up against as a women leader at a time when women were not allowed ...more
Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I actually enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected to. Some of the 'lessons' were a bit of a stretch, or too repetitive, and at times the storytelling sort of took over to the point where the leadership lessons seemed of secondary importance, but the storytelling is quite good. I was more inclined to learn the 'don't piss off the Queen' lesson rather than the 'use your subordinates according to their strengths and don't over-supervise them' message from the bit near the end about King Phill ...more
This review was written by Jim Harper and posted by Lizzy Mottern

This quick, engaging, exciting, fast-paced read (261 pages) reveals 134 Elizabeth I precepts developed for her survival and used in today’s world of business. This brilliant lady devised these techniques entirely on her own despite: a philandering father, who executed her mother; a wicked, wretched half sister - Bloody Mary; a broken and bankrupt nation divided by Catholic versus Protestant interests; international and Papal intrig
Sarah -  All The Book Blog Names Are Taken
I was more so interested in reading this book just to see how the author would relate Elizabeth and leadership. Not being in the business world (though, thanks to a lot of unnecessary garbage, the field of education seems to be on the road to becoming a business), I was intrigued, but ultimately unimpressed. This might be due to my knowledge of Elizabeth's reign, and Elizabethan England as a whole, but some of these connections were a stretch or the facts were a little skewed. It certainly won't ...more
Aug 05, 2011 added it
When I start a book I ALWAYS FINISH it no matter what. But this book, I had to stop and I had less then 100 pages left. It was horrible. I love reading about Elizabeth I & was excited on this perspective Alan was taking on it. But I felt he was just throwing around facts (in an unorganized manner) & over elaborating and filled in a lot of space with nonsense. Then you get to his conclusion of how her life relates back to modern CEO's and how they can benefit from it. But it seemed like i ...more
Mar 02, 2013 rated it liked it
135+ summarized concepts used by Elizabeth during her 4+ decade as Queen. There were a lot I previously did not know of related to the English monarchy and religion during that period in history (ex. 1) King Henry's start of the Protestant religion and the conflicts that occurred for many years to come, 2) How Bloody Mary, 1/2 sister to Mary and Queen prior to Mary got her nickname), 3) England's ability to defeat the Spanish armada, 4) Why Magellan was not credited as the first person to circum ...more
Oct 29, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed learning about Elizabeth, but must admit that I had little interest in learning how to become a better leader. Maybe that's why I found the advice fairly obvious and slightly unhelpful. People who want to learn how to become a better leader by learning about Elizabeth I will find this book significantly more useful. This was still a fairly enjoyable read and has whetted my appetite to learn more about Elizabeth.

Three Stars.
Sep 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-tudors
An interesting approach and powerful theme but disappointing. Axelrod tries to illuminate 136 lessons for leadership with an anecdote for each from Elizabeth's history, but the result seems superficial. For the businessperson with no backgound on Elizabeth, it's unlikely to make much of an impression. For someone with an interest in and knowledge of her, there's not enough detail to be satisfying.
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah, okay, I admit that this was a lot of fun, and as far as I can tell as an amateur Tudor hobbyist, largely accurate. There were a few inexplicable departures from fact (Elizabeth wasn't a redhead? She didn't have a temper that she expressed occasionally with throwing things?) but apart from that, it's a good read and very valuable for leaders, I would think.

For me, it taught me I never, ever, ever want to be a leader. But that's valuable too.
David R.
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of the more unusual leadership texts out there. Axelrod views the reign of Elizabeth I as a lesson for business leaders and makes some fascinating observations. I think he's a bit too generous with her. Elizabeth wasn't particularly good with paying employees, was difficult to predict, and enjoyed creating chaos for others, none of which would do well for a modern business environment.
Jan 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
This goes through the life of Queen Elizabeth and gives a full description of how her decisions made her a grand CEO of her country. This is both historically accurate AND helpful to those wanting to learn more about being a CEO or manager. I've talked to multiple people who've also read this book and found it both informative on QE1 and helpful in their daily lives.
Great book! Quick read. This book is basically a list of different lessons to be learned about the queen. This book is more than just a business leadership book. This book was also a history book. Learning more about how and why she did what she did, helped cement the lessons into your brain. Great book for someone who doesn't really read business books much but still likes to learn.
Jim Serger
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Results, results and more results. The leadership theme brought on by the author was clearly shown in the Queens willingness to put people first before her own needs. Awesome book, backed up with a ton of little ins/ outs that make this a super read. Leadership is not a title and the author shared that quality.
Apr 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most fantastic book of inspiration that I have read, more than once.( And I hate to read books over and over unless they are real good) For anyone who needs a push in whatever stage of your life you are in, this book is it. It's great from a business standpoint to a personal standpoint. Very easy to read and very easily put so that ANYONE can understand it!
Sep 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This could be a dry text book but it is not. It is at once a good history book and a management course with colorful interesting characters. You see Elizabeth I in a whole new light and gain a new appreciation of her reign.
Nov 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Career Women
Recommended to Julia by: David Hammann, bookstore manager
Still in the middle of this book. I'd be careful not to be caught reading it in front of your business' CEO. Books on leadership are always beneficial to a career woman's outlook. Kind of inspirational for those with corporate ladder climbing aspirations (being sarcastic, of course ;)
Mar 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
I found this book very interesting. It is full with historical challenges faced by Queen Elizabeth and how her solutions can help the CEO (or anyone in a leadership position today) become effective. I enjoyed the history aspect a lot!
Marlene Bayers
Jul 11, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh - on,y that I need to discuss it will ai finish it. It seems that this author just pulls random facts out to fit his catchy titles. Not sure if I could bear to read another, but am tempted just to see how much overlap he has on these famous people.
Jul 28, 2011 added it
I read this for a report I'm working on, and it's quickly become a major source of infomration. Axelrod shows how Elizabeth Tudor exemplifies many aspects of leadership- both in her day and in modern times- and explains how one might turn hardship into triumph and keep position in perspective.
Dec 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gloriana
I enjoyed this book mainly because I will be using it as a What Would Elizabeth Do? Guide for the protagonist in a novel I am writing. It is excellent for that purpose and for those who are leaders in business or politics. I wish Obama had a copy to refer to from time to time.
Sharon Miller
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
This fun gimmick of a book ultimately seemed to me to betray a rather shallow understanding of both Elizabeth I, and of human psychology. While I applaud the unique and fun focus on the Tudor celebrity as an example of leadership, this short little book wasn't very edifying.
Aug 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Good history lesson from a leadership point of view. The author draws some unlikely conclusions about her inner person, but I found it easy to disregard the baloney and enjoy the history.
Kelli Parker
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As a female CEO I found so much inspiration from this book and the drive for my own integrity to be solid. I have a new admiration for her strength and wisdom.
Aug 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Now you can be as successful at your job as she was in hers. Her life history is retold as 136 bullet points for the manager or executive.
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
The first of many books about Elizabeth. A good start.
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