When Margaret Thatcher came to power the United Kingdom was in the last chance saloon. Labour markets were highly unionised; the commanding heights of the economy were dominated by loss-making behemoths; marginal tax rates were eye-wateringly high; and the rich, famous and talented were fleeing overseas. Either the U.K. fixed it then or headed ever deeper into economic and social turmoil.
She used four years of leading her party in opposition (1975-1979) by promoting people on merit rather than lineage, gender, or ethnicity, thus transforming "the stupid party" into really rather a smart one.
A great deal of solid policy work was done in that time led by the Institute of Economic Affairs her favorite think tank.
To sum up the secret of Lady T, in addition to having the right ideas you have to have a strong moral compass; you simplify your message; while leading you always listen; have policies that go with the grain of human nature; think through strategy ahead of time; build good teams; use circumstances; make great allies; prepare before you are in power; and have patience.
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