As the sad news started filtering through yesterday of Her Majesty’s passing, a surreal moment started to wash over the office as everybody – no matter of age, ethnicity, or gender – all found themselves caught up and gripped as every word was being spoken across the news channels.
Not only were we feeling the loss of our Queen — a Queen that many of us have only ever known to rule our great country — but we were mourning the loss of a leader. The greatest leader of them all.
We pride ourselves here at The Media Leader on writing and reporting on great leaders and leadership we can all learn from, and during this incredibly difficult period for the nation, we can certainly celebrate her life and her leadership.
Whilst I would not consider myself a staunch royalist, I have always believed in the part the monarchy plays in our country and I certainly admired the Queen. But what really took me by surprise yesterday was as Huw Edwards held back his own emotions, I felt a lump in my throat as my own emotions started to circle inside.
What a Queen she had been. For 70 years the world around her changed at breakneck speed, but it appeared she was never flustered, forever remained true to her values, and was that person of calm we all needed when things got tough.
The majority of us never met her, yet we all felt like we knew her, and whatever your views, the outpouring of tributes from the world over since the news broke yesterday have all been made with the undertones of respect.
That is leadership at it’s very best and that lump in my throat was the realisation that that was now gone, forever.
And then came the stupid things we all asked each other. The national anthem will change. Banknotes will change. Stamps will change. And we’ll never see her deliver that speech at Christmas again.
Whilst in the grand scheme of things these things seem trivial, they are what a lot of us have only ever known in our lifetimes.
If leadership is anything, it is that ability to be the one person in the room that everyone looks to, because no matter what, that person is always there.
We can all learn a lot from Her Majesty, but for today and the days to come, we should simply celebrate how lucky we are to have had a leader that served all of us with dignity, grace and dedication.
If we can all learn a little bit from her reign, then we’ll all be better leaders for it.
Steve Scaffardi is head of Mediatel Events.