“The Iron Lady” and the “My Way or the Highway Man”

thatcher-fergusonIf there was ever an example of two people that were so opposite in their positions whilst being so similar in so many ways,then we need only to think of Margaret Thatcher and Alex Ferguson.

The mind boggles at the thought of having the two of them in the room at the same time. Two very strong characters with strict principles, a strong sense of confidence, passion for their roles and the ability to inflict fear into anyone that tried to distract them or get in their way.

The working class Scotsman who was proudly Labour and the Middle Class English woman with a degree from Cambridge and once Head of the Conservative Party. So in what ways were they so similar?  Both had a very strong work ethic, both embraced globalization whilst having a strong passion in their country. Both had high standards that they were not prepared to compromise on, whilst both believed in education and the need to nurture and develop people.

In fact outside political commitments, it would be hard to find much that was too different between them. I find these similarities striking at so many levels.  You see, these days it would be hard to find any reasonable person, including Politicians on both sides, that did not believe that a good work ethic is important and the need for a good education is fundamental to a developing society.  Die hard Conservatives or Republicans versus die hard Liberals or Labour, is clouding good dialogue and decent conversation these days. Whether it is Cameron, Clegg, Milliband, Obama or Boehner, they all believe that having a good work ethic is important and people should work and be rewarded and recognized for their work. All would agree that people have a responsibility for their own standard of living and should take ownership for their career. The issue is how to deal with the ones that won’t work and the very few who genuinely can’t?

Obviously handouts is not the answer, but equally allowing them to be a drain on society is also not an option. Ferguson was a great coach and mentor whilst setting high standards and good discipline. Thatcher believed in education as a means of creating a responsible and productive society whilst also believing in good Government and non intrusive Government.

Two great people that accomplished a great deal and carved a name for themselves in our history books.  Both shared some important and valuable lessons about being successful.

  1. Strong work ethic
  2. Strength of conviction
  3. Attention to detail
  4. Know and be known for what you stand for
  5. Be competitive but embrace the world

– Paul


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