You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
-Winston Churchill 

Winston Churchill is perhaps the greatest prime minister that ever lived. He led Britain through World War II and held his people against attacks from Germany. His roaring speeches and refusal to quit were inspiring to his countrymen and leaders all over the world. 

He simply refused to give up

Winston Churchill was famously stubborn when it came to giving up and it’s exactly what Britain needed at the start of World War II. A critical moment came on Sept 7, 1940. Germany began an 8 month and 5-day long bombing campaign on the country in an effort to get the Britans to surrender or at the very least to prepare the way for an invasion. Churchill refused to give up and instilled that sensibility in his people. Britsh countrymen got to the point that they talked about the level of bombings like the weather, “It’s looking extra Blitzy outside today.” Germany failed to break the country’s spirit and only fueled Britain’s intensity to stand for freedom.

Hopefully, you will not have to live through anything as harsh as near-daily bombings in your city or nation. People are much more resilient than they give themselves credit for. You can weather more than you think you can. It’s an underlying lesson that all military personnel is taught early on. Don’t give up. Even if your back is against the wall, fight with all that you have. Sometimes the mental and emotional battles can carry a heavier toll than a physical ones. Know that those battles can also be won as well. 

He knew how to connect a message

Churchill was also famous for his speeches. “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat” was his first speech as prime minister and it instantly connected with his opposition in politics and the people of the country. He utilized radio and in-person talks to encourage and rally The British so they would keep fighting and not give in to Germany. His speeches are among the most quoted in history. 

Churchill’s speeches were so successful because he knew how to connect with his audience. He had an equal understanding of what his people were going through (empathy) and what the most pressing issues were. He then simply connected those two pieces in his talks. 

Do you find yourself struggling with getting your message across to others? Stop and consider how you are connecting and what your message is.

  • Be sure to connect in a way that the person wants. A great message can be lost because it’s delivered in the wrong medium. Understand your team’s communication preferences (email, video etc)  It often takes delivering the message in several different ways to fully connect with everyone.
  • Gain a good understanding of your team’s position, perspective, struggles and strengths as you craft your message. The vernacular, tone and content should strike a cord with those that receive it. 

He stayed focused on the larger picture

Churchill famously hated communism. He never thought of working with the Soviets, much less aiding them. As soon as Germany invaded Russia, British supplies and tanks began being sent to Russia as aid. Churchill famously said, “If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favorable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons.” He understood the bigger picture and was willing to work across political differences for the larger good. 

It can be easy to write people off because we don’t get along with them. Maybe they are a jerk. maybe they have a different philosophy on leadership. Do what you can to maintain a working relationship with them at a minimum. You don’t know when that person’s talent could be essential in helping you meet a goal or deadline. Also, work to build a bridge with them by helping them as needed. 

A few interesting facts

  • Winston Churchill was an accomplished writer. He authored about 20 books and won a Nobel Prize in Literature.  
  • In addition to writing, Churchill was also a painter. He created around 500 pieces during his lifetime and received kind words about pieces from Pablo Picasso.  He had his first piece displayed in the Royal Academy under the pseudonym David Winter. Churchill also enjoyed landscaping and bricklaying.
  • Churchill gained instant fame from the story of his daring escape from a POW camp in South Africa.

Stay tough and inspire others to do the same during difficult times. You can pull through just about anything that is set before you. 

Make a better tomorrow.