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The Iron Lady’s Failed Mid-Career Transition

Herminia Ibarra


“No matter how smart and well-connected you are, it is hard to reach the top of your game without a differentiator.”

“But, as we all know, what got you here won’t get you there most important leadership lessons in the middle of her career, when she was stuck in the Iron Lady identity trap of her own making.”

“Thatcher’s story is ours as well. We might see the need to evolve, but towards what? When the formula is working, how do we determine the shifting point? How do we come to value the polar opposite of everything by which we have defined ourselves?”

“If we are lucky, like her we come to know early on what we do well and in what arena we want to make a mark. Then, if we are successful, the hard part kicks in: we come to the point where we have to reinvent ourselves. What must we keep and what must we shed in order to advance and grow?”