Tony Blair is a British Labour politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. Since leaving the political scene in 2007, he has become a sought after corporate speaker with his in depth analysis and approach to the macroeconomic environment.
A Short History
Tony Blair was born in 1953 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He had an interesting childhood and youth; he was arrested once for being mistaken for being a burglar and he even started a rock band with his friends called Ugly Rumors.
His first rise to prominence was when he led the labor party to victory in 1997, and from then he has created many people centric policies like the Minimum Wage, Human Rights Acts as well as the Freedom of Information Act. His relentless focus on people has helped him lead his Labour Party to 3 consecutive wins in the general elections; an unprecedented record.
Besides just focusing on domestic policies, Blair was hugely involved in the war against terrorism in the Middle East. He supported the US foreign policies by being involved in the invasion and Afghanistan as well as Iraq as well.
His acts caused a division in opinions domestically, with some being unhappy with his support of the US, and others supportive. He stepped down from the political scene in 2007 and went on to become an envoy in the Middle East during the Israel-Palestine conflicts.
Besides being an envoy, Blair is also a highly sought after corporate speaker and is highly paid to share his insights and give speeches throughout the world.
Awards and Honours
Here are some of the awards and honours that Tony Blair has won:
- Privy Councillor
- Congressional Gold Medal
- Presidential Medal of Freedom
Leadership Lessons from Tony Blair
I recently attended a seminar by Tony Blair, and he shared with us 10 things he learnt in his career. Here goes:
1. Have the humility to learn
To become a teacher, one must first become a student. You must learn something new everyday and there’s a lot out there that you don’t know or haven’t learnt yet.
2. Start with an analysis of your situation
A successful analyzes his current situation before he considers where he should be going. He looks at the interdependent global environment.
3. We cannot stand still
In our world today, the speed of change is so fast that you have to embrace new ideas and innovation and be prepared to adopt and adjust to this change every moment.
4. New ideas cannot come into a closed mind
If our minds are closed, we cannot accept new ideas in the world today. Nations must be prepared to work together. The distinction between a person who is open or closed is whether he or she is afraid of what is different from him.
5. Success is developing your potential through education
Great education is important for a country as much as organizations. A leader must be open to change to reform the education system in a way that is suitable for today’s world.
6. Change is the hardest thing and it is tough
When we make changes in our lives or in an organization, people will say that it is a disaster. And change is going to be difficult. During the period of change, it is about how good you are at building support on your side.
7. Success is about great partnership and indviduals
In the world of terrorism today, soft power methods must be utlitized; methods like partnerships between countries and organizations and diplomacy. A global alliance is required to fight for a a better idea in the world.
8. Partnership and prejudice are mutually exclusive
Whether within an organization or a country, people must learn to treat each other with respect. To create a great organization, you must create it on the basis that all humanity is equal.
9. Success is never about doing something, but believing in something
In a world like today, values are important. The people that do life best are those who do it for a bigger cause, one greater than themselves. Successful people are not necessarily selfish.
10. To succeed, there must be optimism and possibility about it
You can never succeed if you’re too afraid to fail. You must have the spirit of adventure as you approach life. It is a challenge, but never too hard!
Books about Tony Blair
This insightful political memoir describes the most pivotal decisions and crucial points in Tony Blair’s career. A Journey: My Political Life is a personal insight into the life and work of the Prime Minister who made some controversial and difficult decisions.
Hitchens vs. Blair: Be It Resolved Religion Is a Force for Good in the World (The Munk Debates)
Tony Blair is a well-known devout political leader who proudly relies on faith, even in politics; Christopher Hitchens is famous as a committed atheist who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. For the first time, the heated debate between the two great minds is available in print.
‟Democracy isn’t working”: The second coming of Tony Blair *
Alex Perry goes above and beyond to explore the efforts of Tony Blair, finally bringing some answers to the questions behind his controversial political decisions.
Quotes from Tony Blair
It is not an arrogant government that chooses priorities, it’s an irresponsible government that fails to choose.
However much I dislike the idea of abortion, you should not criminalize a woman who, in very difficult circumstances, makes that choice.
There is no meeting of minds, no point of understanding with such terror. Just a choice: Defeat it or be defeated by it. And defeat it we must.
This is not a battle between the United States of America and terrorism, but between the free and democratic world and terrorism.
You only require two things in life: your sanity and your wife.
I didn’t come into politics to change the Labour Party. I came into politics to change the country.
Conflict is not inevitable, but disarmament is… everyone now accepts that if there is a default by Saddam the international community must act to enforce its will.
Labour is the party of law and order in Britain today. Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.
Mine is the first generation able to contemplate the possibility that we may live our entire lives without going to war or sending our children to war.
Power without principle is barren, but principle without power is futile. This is a party of government, and I will lead it as a party of government.
The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.
Tony Blair Leadership Video
Watch ‘The Rise and Fall of Tony Blair’
Wikipedia: A detailed account of Tony Blair’s life
TonyBlairOffice.org: Tony Blair’s Official Site
More Political Leader Profiles
For leadership profiles of other famous Political leaders, including George Washington, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King Jr, check out our Political Leadership Profiles section.
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