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12 lessons in leadership from Henry VIII

With a strong stance like that, it’s hard to believe Henry VIII would be anything but a great leader, and while we don’t admire his way with women, there’s plenty to be learned from one of England’s most memorable monarchs.

Carol Ann Stanger at 12Most has proven the adage that history is well worth studying for the lessons it can teach with this list of twelve leadership tips from the man who could wield a turkey leg like no other.

1. Assemble a good team

Henry relied too much on Thomas Wolsey at some points in his reign, and he learned from this. Later, he assembled a team of leaders, separating the political and the religious leadership under Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Cranmer. He also involved his friend and recognized intellectual leader Thomas More. By including several voices (who happened to all be named Thomas!) in his leadership team, Henry was able to make significant progress over a few short years.

2. Create inspirational work environments

With a court that consisted of more than 1,000 people, having a suitably large and modern working space was an ongoing challenge. For health reasons, the king and court shifted locations every few months to allow palaces to be cleaned. Henry acquired and renovated more than 55 palaces over his lifetime, some of which he turned into truly magnificent environments for the work (and play) of his entire court. He acquired York Place to replace Westminster in 1530, redesigning and extending the building to include a recreation center with a bowling green, indoor tennis court, a pit for cock fighting, and a tiltyard for jousting. Likewise, Henry expanded Hampton Court Palace to accommodate his large court, quadrupling the size of the kitchens and adding a Great Hall.

And here’s your bonus lesson, this time in the history of rock and roll.

Oddly enough, no one ever seems to talk about this part of the British Invasion.

Full story at 12Most.

Lessons in leadership.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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1 Comment

  • gaurav

    Short, simple and succint. Loved it.

    @somegauravfella

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