In the early times, a few women leaders stand out by their exemplary leadership skills shown through how they ruled, the most prominent being Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt, and Queen Elizabeth I of England. Queen Elizabeth is considered one of the greatest leaders the world has ever seen. She led her country with a lot of zeal and determination to give the best and rectify the shortcomings of her predecessors.
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Under her leadership, England unified and set it out of the poverty that had taken over the country before she came to power (Tyldesley 78). On the other hand, Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, used her intelligence and sexuality to lure strong men into her bosom to save her country Egypt from foreigners. With her strong sense of determination and focus, Cleopatra could not allow her to stop at anything even if it meant getting rid of her half brother to be the sole leader and not share leadership because she never believed in dual leadership. In as much as both employed different means to liberate their countries from the problems of the time, both were clever enough and strong against any intimidation.
Using the skill that she possessed, Cleopatra stood up to the task and, as a woman, in a generation where patriarchy was the in thing. Both men and women alike bowed to her and respected her. She got respect and attention more than any woman did at the time. She was able to look for the best games to employ, especially in her seductive spree, to enslave the hearts of the men who stood in her way. Her determination to get rid of those who stood in her way, including her half brothers, makes her develop tactics that enabled her to maneuver her personality (Tyldesley 63). This was her weapon with which she won her opponents.
On her part, Queen Elizabeth I had to keep the sanctity and power of the throne by all means. She came in as a leader when England was faced with religious separation from the Roman Catholic. Also facing rebellions such as that with Mary Queen of Scots, but she arguably used technique, her capacity, and her own right to do all she could to protect her country. Both of these women leaders worked towards maintaining inner peace within their countries.
The point at which these iron ladies of the earlier times differ in the way they ruled is the fact that when one chose to use her good looks and sexuality to entice the men who stood her way, the other chose to remain devoted to serving her country arguing that getting involved with a man especially in marriage which she thought could compromise her commitment to her people and country. With her deceiving looks and charm, Cleopatra used her skill to the best of her ability; she was able to defeat Marc Antony and Ceaser and lead her nation to prosperity, at least then (Ashworth 141). Queen Elizabeth I could not bow down to the pressure of getting involved with any man and produce an heir to the throne.
She remained focused on her cause of rebuilding her country. According to Classic Leadership Cases, she used her power effectively as the queen to stand the test of time, unlike Cleopatra, who used strategy and charisma to get away with what she wanted. Cleopatra also committed suicide to end her life because she could not stand defeat; Queen Elizabeth I died a natural death of blood poisoning.
These two women leaders, in a way, knew how to maneuver their way and call for loyalty from their subjects. Cleopatra used this skill to control his subjects and call for their loyalty; not even Marc Antony could stand her (Ashworth 58). Antony was already married but was put in a compromising situation, leaving his wife for Cleopatra. She learned the Egyptian language to communicate easily with her subjects.
She remained loyal to her country and her beliefs such that she could not stand the fact that she had been defeated at war in the Mediterranean Sea. On her part as a leader, Queen Elizabeth I unified her people and sought support from her subjects and from those who worked under her. She called for the people’s loyalty to England to stand together against foreign threats. And this worked for her for the people of England worked as a unity, which made them stand strong against the tide of foreign invasion. Therefore, both of these women commanded loyalty that enabled them to catapult their countries, which made them stand tall against enemy/foreign countries.
Both of these women leaders employed teamwork and used public support in their leadership (Ashworth 178). This makes them good leaders. Both were in the era that was dominated by men, more especially in the field of politics. They both had a vision for a better world for their subjects. They both remained focused in their capacities as leaders too; they remained honest to their cause in different ways, Cleopatra using her charm and good looks like Queen Elizabeth I went out on her way as a woman of zeal. Both of them employed various skills that enabled them to gain the confidence of the people they led.
They were eventually loved and respected by their people (Ashworth, 111). For women, these two stood out in history as intelligent women leaders and pioneers who proved that given room, women could also do what men can do and do it even better, because for instance, in “Classic Leadership Cases,” Elizabeth 1, Queen of England, in discussing Queen Elizabeth I, she presented a good leadership, far much better than that of her father. They remain icons in history for exemplary and good leadership filled with intelligence and charisma.
“Classic Leadership Cases” Constructing Charisma: Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt.
“Classic Leadership Cases” Elizabeth 1, Queen of England.
Ashworth, Leon. Queen Elizabeth I, Berkshire. Cherrytree Press. 2002.
Tyldesley, Joyce. Cleopatra, Last Queen of Egypt. London. Profile Books Ltd. 2009.