Margaret Thatcher Paper
According to Ian Robertson of Psychology Today (2013), “Few women in history have achieved the political, social and economic influence that Margaret Thatcher did, and whether you disagree with what she did or not, by any measure she was a historical great” (Women, Power, and Margaret Thatcher). An examination into the life of Margaret Thatcher includes the bases of power she developed during her early career, the ways she exercised influence, and how she built credibility. A determination will be made regarding the lessons learned from the case study on Thatcher, including her strengths and weaknesses. Questions will also be raised regarding the life and power of this remarkable world leader. Unless otherwise identified, all information regarding this negotiation process comes from the online course material, “Margaret Thatcher” (1998).
Bases of Power in Margaret Thatcher’s Early Career
Margaret Thatcher utilized two major bases of power during her early years in politics. These two primary bases of power were expert and charisma. While Thatcher admittedly was not an expert, she did; however, have excellent study habits and a strong work ethic. She utilized these characteristics to prepare herself well in advance for every situation. She armed herself with data and made a point to have completed thorough background research on the topics she was to address. Thatcher used her research along with her charismatic personality to impress constituents, peers, and subordinates alike.
Ways Margaret Thatcher Exercised Influence and Built Credibility
Margaret Thatcher exercised influence throughout her life. She was both determined and ruthless. She was raised with the philosophy of self-improvement and dedication to duty. Even in school she had a “parliamentary” style and asked well thought out questions. Thatcher was known for being rational, literal and finding solutions to get things accomplished. Even at Oxford, Thatcher knew what she was doing in her interactions by inviting hierarchy of political parties to speak and using these interactions later on. In the first campaign she won she worked hard every day, and visited places where previously only the opposing political party went. She also displayed a charm that many had not seen before. Upon becoming Member of Parliament (MP), Mrs. Thatcher was not intimidated. She demonstrated a huge amount of energy and it quickly got noticed. While she was considered far to the right she was careful in how she voiced her opinions, so her loyalty was not questioned and she was not branded a rebel.
Thatcher built credibility by showing empathy, remembering faces and having a keen sense for details that she could remember without notes. Another practice that helped her build credibility was that she hand wrote seven hundred thank you notes after her victory, adding a personal touch for those who helped her. Thatcher was an excellent speaker and was strong in her convictions: she used compelling data to support her positions, which gained her credibility and influence. She was known to be educated as well as a hard worker who researched at length. Because of her excellent work and her work ethic senior MPs took notice and saw that she could never be outworked. When times got tough in the Parliament she held firm and did not give up.
Lessons Learned and Questions Raised from the Case Study
Lessons that can be learned from this case study involve education, ambition, and hard work. Margaret Thatcher was a successful in a field where no woman had represented before. Thatcher was exposed to the idea that education was very important by her father. Her father took her to college lectures as well as to the library on a regular basis at a young age. This type of early exposure encouraged and motivated Thatcher to prepare herself to compete with peers at Oxford University. This work ethic continued throughout Thatcher’s