Confession: I binge-watched the Crown. 8 things I learned from Lord Altrincham.

ladies and gentlemen, Get out your sweatpants.

Thank God for holidays! I am so thankful to spend time in one of my favourite places — in my bed with my three little boys, two dogs, and hubby watching well-written shows and transporting from reality into the narrative. You know you have trouble shutting it down when you submerge yourself in a story and are thinking about work...

I have a difficult time shutting work down in my mind because I’m a bit of a dreamaholic. If I’m not working on client work I find myself thinking about ways to connect with clients and support them in business growth. Well, I did it again because I learned a lot from Episode 5 with Lord Altrincham and I couldn't wait to share it with you. 

binge-watching Netflix's The Crown

8 Lessons Learned from Lord Altrincham in
Episode 5: Marionettes

One of my favourite characters appeared in Episode 5: Lord Altrincham. I’ve been doing a study of people who shake up systems. From Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, Adam Grant’s Originals, Seth Godin’s Purple Cow, Lynn Armstrong’s Pink Flamingos - there are people who shake up and disrupt the system.

1. If you don't fit in - don't fit in

Lord Altrincham is a similar breed and his story is terrifying and awe-inspiring. As the character is upset he is leading a small publication and his ideas are underwhelming to many on his team. This is a lonely place to be — alone and frustrated pushing limits with a team of average writers. When you're an entrepreneur the position can seem lonely, but this is because you have something unique to offer. 

After Elizabeth makes a tone-deaf speech at Jaguar factory, she and the monarchy come under public attack from an outspoken lord.

2. Respond - don't react

When Lord Altrincham read the Queen's speech it showed just how out of touch with society she was. He could relate to her, but was also frustrated with her seeming lack of tact and connection with everyday people. People throughout the empire were frustrated as it was broadcast on the radio but, instead of starting a rally, Lord Altrincham crafted a response. 


3. Find A Champion

I’ve just heard a ridiculous speech by the Queen. I want to write an immediate response.
— Lord Altrincham

When you are in a position of leadership or have an important idea to spread, finding allies is key. One woman on Altrincham's team believed in his ideas and supported him in his quest. Do you have someone who will "bear arms" when you need support? This woman provided encouragement for him to push the boundaries, seemingly seeing something of boldness and brilliance in him. After the event, he rushed to the office asking for help and she stayed late to help him. This champion is the reason he was able to gather his thoughts quickly and respond in a timely manner. 


4. Do your homework

Lord Altrincham didn't grab a soapbox and start hurling insults and criticisms. He went directly to his office and pulled out resource upon resource with ideas from scholars on how monarchs ought to behave. Over piles of books, wells of ink, and the clanking of the typewriter his article was born — and shared, and shared and shared. From an insignificant publication to the most substantial news articles of the time, word of Altrincham’s opinions spread like wildfire (without social media). It is one thing to whine about things that turn you off, it is another to present an informed opinion in a timely matter. 


5. Get invested

If something upsets you it is important to consider if you have skin in the game. In the case of the monarchy — Lord Altrincham did. He came from royal lines and had an idea or two about how things could and should be done. This connection allowed his criticisms to be heard loudly but also afforded him a leg to stand on when it came down to questions of loyalty. 


6. speak with integrity

Legacies often need to morph and transform. Lord Altrincham was well versed in theory and connection, but was inspired by recent events that demonstrated the lack of touch people had with the monarchy and the monarchy with the people. He wasn’t just “stirring the pot." Often, when something bothers us, it is up to us to make a difference.


7. Listen to advisors

Overnight, Lord Altrincham's opinions made him the most hated man in the country; yet, he wanted to speak his truth. By surrounding himself with advisors he was able to articulate himself with kindness, humility, and honesty. When you walk in integrity, you have strong opinions but you still listen to advisors.

Right now you’re the most unloved individual in Britain... Keep your cool … make your case politely, respectfully, intelligently, and it could turn people around.
— Lord Altrincham's Advisor

8. Instead of complaining, come with recommendations

After his television appearance, Lord Altrincham was invited to come to the queen. He took the advice of his champion to arrive with recommendations instead of criticisms and that is what he did. Instead of complaining, he showed up with suggestions that, while they seemingly impacted the queen's sense of pride, made remarkable differences for the monarchy. At the end of the episode, a blurb about Lord Altrincham rolled across the screen with this quote:

In the end, almost all LA’s proposed changes to the monarchy were implemented. The palace later conceded that LA did as much as anyone in the 20th century to help the monarchy.
— Final Credits - Episode 5, Season 2, The Crown

What will your legacy be?

While you may not be a lord - if you feel as though you do not fit in, if you feel disgruntled and you have something to say about it - prepare yourself with information, advisors and humility and take a page out of Lord Altrincham's book. We can make change with honesty and respect — without backing down or hurling insults.

Where will you inspire change?

Heather Murphy

Heather Murphy is a business consultant with expertise in digital marketing. Heather owns Authentically: Business & Life Solutions, making an impact with inbound marketing, graphic design, and social media marketing. As an educator, Heather frequently shares at conferences and seminars to empower people for building the successful businesses they invision. Heather is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council.