Margaret Thatcher was a strong, intelligent woman who rose quickly to the top at a young age. Many people are talking about her leadership legacy as a result of the recent biopic, The Iron Lady, and leadership development lessons do abound in a closer examination of Margaret Thatcher’s career and life, from the rise and fall of her influential leadership.

How did Thatcher rise so quickly through the political ranks, anyway? According to Herminia Ibarra, “she used her drive and hard work to get into the best position possible for growing her competencies, her network, and her visibility.” Indeed, Thatcher was determined to gain whatever leverage she could from her brains and her hard work. In networking, she found what Ibarra describes as “powerful mentors” who helped her ascend even faster.

Take home leadership development lessons: Work hard. Emphasize your strengths to stand out from the crowd. Network with others. Find strong mentors who can give you inside tips on how to improve your career growth and your leadership skills.

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