What can we learn from Theresa May’s Leadership style?

As Theresa May exits number 10 for the last time as Britain’s second female prime minister, the keys to the door will be handed over to the next leader of the conservative party – whoever that may be…

As Prime Minister, Theresa May has faced perhaps the most complex political challenge since the second World War. Her premiership has undeniably been overshadowed by Brexit’s endless disagreements and has received a mixed response from commentators. But what can we learn from the way she has led the country for almost three years? What lessons are leaders able to take away?

Resilient, Robust and Rigid
We can categorise May’s entire leadership into three consecutive personality traits; resilience, robustness and rigidity. In the early phase of her leadership, she could be described as resilient; she seemed open to advice and consultation from her colleagues and aides, she was clear on the outcomes that she wanted to achieve but also open to alternative suggestions and to learning. She was willing to listen and face up to her critics. This was in many ways a promising start and a number of commentators highlighted, in particular, May’s resilience in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity.

Resilience is a vital characteristic for leaders of any kind and one that can be maintained simply. By having an awareness of the impact that a setback may have, broadening and deepening their understanding and taking decisive action, leaders are in strong positions to deliver what they have promised and bounce back from defeat.

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