The past six months have undoubtedly brought a shift in how Meghan Markle is talked about in the press. Ever since her marriage, there has been an onslaught of negative reports about her management style. Those criticisms are rooted in sexism — Prince Harry has yet to receive the same treatment — and research shows that women are judged more harshly than men in the workplace.
According to a new report in ELLE, though, Markle is actually a great boss, and is particularly good at emphasizing meaning and purpose at work. Apparently Markle is not only “well-liked,” but “people are excited by her ideas and enthusiasm,” a royal source told ELLE. “Meghan, the source said, is anxious to learn about royal protocol and takes her new duties very seriously. She’s a quick learner, and she’s receptive to the courtiers who have been providing her guidance and helping her adapt to her new life as a member of the royal family.”
Another recent report confirms that Markle has been putting in extra effort in her transition into a royal, though this particular article cast that ambition in a much more negative light. “The palace is a magical place, and it is also a place where all you hear is ‘no, no, no,’ ” one source told People, with another adding, “The most difficult job in the royal family is to work with Meghan’s ambitions and make them realizable. She will get frustrated if she is told, ‘You can’t do this or can’t do that.’ ”
Whether or not Markle’s energetic management style is productive comes down to if she emphasizes to her employees that they’re working towards a greater goal — and looks out for their well-being. “A useful indicator that you have a good boss is whether or not the person really knows how to connect what you do to the real aspirations of the whole enterprise. That way they can make you see how your work fits in to, in this case, the British empire,” says Art Kleiner, coauthor of The Wise Advocate, a book on the neuroscience of leadership from Columbia University Press, and editor-in-chief of PwC Global and strategy+business. “If you’re working for someone like Meghan Markle and she says, ‘I want you to make these phone calls,’ that’s one thing. But if she says, ‘By making these phone calls you’re raising our stature or helping us do something really important then that makes her a really good boss. Then the purpose of your work is clear to your boss and yourself. Your boss’ real job is to set you up for success; you make your boss look good when you succeed and you succeed because your boss has given you the context and support and the guidance that you need.”
One of the causes Markle and her team have rallied behind is gender equality, which was even reflected in her wedding vows to Prince Harry. The fact that she is working towards change helps give her employees that vital sense of purpose. As Kleiner explains, “If you care about gender equality, she’s a good boss because she’s making a contribution. But even if you don’t care that much about gender equality, if she knows how to see what you do, what you do well and how that fits, and hopes you elevate what you don’t do well, you’ll still think she’s a tremendous boss.” Even if you don’t work for the Duchess of Sussex, you can still foster your sense of purpose at work — that, in turn, will help you feel enriched and energized about the job you perform.
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