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Margaret Thatcher Quotes about Strong Will and Leadership

These Margaret Thatcher quotes highlight who she was and will inspire you to fight for what you believe in.

Not only was Margaret Thatcher Britain’s first female prime minister, but she was also the longest running prime minister since 1827. Her strong will and firm stand in her political beliefs gave her the nickname, the Iron Lady. 

What qualities do you think make a great leader?

During her time in office, Thatcher instigated some controversial policies. She believed in free capitalism, cut social welfare, and privatized a few state-owned companies. She also faced the Falklands War, cut trade union power, and initiated the unpopular poll tax. While she served three terms in office, eventually, her strong conservative stance caused her popularity to stifle, and in 1990, she resigned from office. 

Whatever your political opinion, there is no denying that Margaret Thatcher was a leader with a strong will. Below you will find a collection of our favorite Margaret Thatcher quotes. 

Don’t forget to also check out our collection of leadership quotes that will spark your fire.

Margaret Thatcher quotes about strong will

1. “If you lead a country like Britain, a strong country, a country which has taken a lead in world affairs in good times and in bad, a country that is always reliable, then you have to have a touch of iron about you.” –Margaret Thatcher

2. “If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.” –Margaret Thatcher

3. “I’ve got a woman’s ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.”- Margaret Thatcher

4. “Any leader has to have a certain amount of steel in them, so I am not that put out being called the Iron Lady.”- Margaret Thatcher

5. “To wear your heart on your sleeve isn’t a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best.” – Margaret Thatcher

6. “There are still people in my party who believe in consensus politics. I regard them as Quislings, as traitors… I mean it.” –Margaret Thatcher

7. “I don’t mind how much my Ministers talk, so long as they do what I say.” –Margaret Thatcher

8. “If you want to cut your own throat, don’t come to me for a bandage.” – Margaret Thatcher

9. “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” –Margaret Thatcher

10. “I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job.” –Margaret Thatcher

11. “Platitudes? Yes, there are platitudes. Platitudes are there because they are true.” –Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher quotes about leadership

12. “There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.” – Margaret Thatcher

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13. “People think that at the top there isn’t much room. They tend to think of it as an Everest. My message is that there is tons of room at the top.” –Margaret Thatcher

14. “Constitutions have to be written on hearts, not just paper.”-Margaret Thatcher

15. “It is always important in matters of high politics to know what you do not know. Those who think that they know, but are mistaken, and act upon their mistakes, are the most dangerous people to have in charge.” –Margaret Thatcher

16. “Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.” –Margaret Thatcher

17. “There is much to be said for trying to improve some disadvantaged people’s lot. There is nothing to be said for trying to create heaven on earth.” –Margaret Thatcher

18. “To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.” –Margaret Thatcher

19. “You don’t tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive.” –Margaret Thatcher

20. “It pays to know the enemy – not least because at some time you may have the opportunity to turn him into a friend.” –Margaret Thatcher

21. “Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas.” –Margaret Thatcher

22. “My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police.” –Margaret Thatcher

23. “Every family should have the right to spend their money, after tax, as they wish, and not as the government dictates. Let us extend choice, extend the will to choose and the chance to choose.” –Margaret Thatcher

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Margaret Thatcher quotes about discipline

24. “It’s passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election.”-Margaret Thatcher

25. “Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.” –Margaret Thatcher

26. “Watch your thoughts, for they will become actions. Watch your actions, for they’ll become… habits. Watch your habits for they will forge your character. Watch your character, for it will make your destiny.” –Margaret Thatcher

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27. “What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.” –Margaret Thatcher

28. “Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth.” –Margaret Thatcher

29. “Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.” –Margaret Thatcher

Wise Margaret Thatcher quotes

30. “It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.” – Margaret Thatcher

31. “Freedom will destroy itself if it is not exercised within some sort of moral framework, some body of shared beliefs, some spiritual heritage transmitted through the Church, the family, and the school.”- Margaret Thatcher

32. “Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.” –Margaret Thatcher

33. “There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.” –Margaret Thatcher

34. “There are significant differences between the American and European version of capitalism. The American traditionally emphasizes the need for limited government, light regulations, low taxes and maximum labour-market flexibility. Its success has been shown above all in the ability to create new jobs, in which it is consistently more successful than Europe.” –Margaret Thatcher

35. “Being prime minister is a lonely job… you cannot lead from the crowd.” –Margaret Thatcher

36. “For every idealistic peacemaker willing to renounce his self-defence in favour of a weapons-free world, there is at least one warmaker anxious to exploit the other’s good intentions.” –Margaret Thatcher

37. “A world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us.” –Margaret Thatcher

Don’t forget to also read these powerful women empowerment quotes to help you succeed in life

Thought-provoking Margaret Thatcher quotes

38. “You and I come by road or rail, but economists travel on infrastructure.” –Margaret Thatcher

39. “The facts of life are conservative.” –Margaret Thatcher

40. “Of course, to be a mother and a housewife is a vocation of a very high kind. But I simply felt that it was not the whole of my vocation. I knew that I also wanted a career. A phrase that Irene Ward, MP for Tynemouth, and I often used was that ‘while the home must always be the center of one’s life, it should not be the boundary of one’s ambitions’.” – Margaret Thatcher

41. “It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the eggs.” –Margaret Thatcher

42. “I’m back… and you knew I was coming. On my way here I passed a cinema with the sign ‘The Mummy Returns’.” –Margaret Thatcher

43. “To those waiting with bated breath for that favorite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only this to say, ‘You turn if you want; the lady’s not for turning.” –Margaret Thatcher

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44. “No woman in my time will be prime minister or chancellor or foreign secretary – not the top jobs. Anyway, I wouldn’t want to be prime minister; you have to give yourself 100 percent.” –Margaret Thatcher

45. “It used to be about trying to do something. Now it’s about trying to be someone.” –Margaret Thatcher

46. “The battle for women’s rights has been largely won.” –Margaret Thatcher

47. “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.” –Margaret Thatcher

48. “I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.” –Margaret Thatcher

49. “We Conservatives hate unemployment.” –Margaret Thatcher

50. “We were told our campaign wasn’t sufficiently slick. We regard that as a compliment.” –Margaret Thatcher

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of inspirational quotes for women on strength and leadership.

Other powerful Margaret Thatcher quotes

51. “If your only opportunity is to be equal then it is not opportunity.” – Margaret Thatcher

52. “Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.” – Margaret Thatcher

53. “The first step in calculating which way to go is to find out where you are.” – Margaret Thatcher

54. “The price of freedom is still, and always will be, eternal vigilance.” – Margaret Thatcher

55. “Many of our troubles are due to the fact that our people turn to politicians for everything.” – Margaret Thatcher

56. “Leadership is about having principles. A leader must have a vision and principles that will endure for all time and must always be true to these principles, applying them to changing circumstances.” – Margaret Thatcher

57. “The spirit of envy can destroy; it can never build.” – Margaret Thatcher

58. “Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” – Margaret Thatcher

59. “If you are guided by opinion polls, you are not practicing leadership — you are practicing followership.” – Margaret Thatcher

60. “I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.” – Margaret Thatcher

What did you learn from these Margaret Thatcher quotes?

Margaret Thatcher was a wise and disciplined woman with strong will and determination when making decisions about running her country.

While not everyone may agree on the political decisions she made, there is no doubt that she had the qualities of a strong leader. It is for this reason that Margaret Thatcher is widely considered one of the most famous politicians in British history. 

What’s your biggest takeaway from these powerful Margaret Thatcher quotes? What qualities do you think make a great leader? Do you need more than the qualities that Thatcher exhibited? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. 

Sckylar Gibby-Brown
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  1. Greg

    February 16, 2021 at 1:13 PM

    I have always liked the term “Forward never reverse” By U-turn one will be in a constant loop of self doubt. It will push you to never see the signs of the times. The constant doubt of who you are, where you are, will degrade the character and sow the seeds of who you can become.

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