There are many ways to read Walking thru Destiny, a biography of Winston Churchill. One is to read to understand how the English perspective of the role of the United States in World War 2, but after this immense best seller about Winston Churchill, I came across the top 3 leadership techniques which transcend time. Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born in Oxfordshire, England on November 30, 1874 to Lord Randolph Churchill, and Lady Jeanette Jerome. Winston drove himself to succeed to impress his father that he was not a failure. A sample of the leadership skills of Churchill.
- Motivational speaker
- He was more than a motivational speaker, a fair-weather speaker. He had drive and skill to be personally interested in the audience, in this case, the British people. Besides visible, he motivated them with rousing cheer. He was not a natural speaker, but was able to teach himself how to communicate the essence of a subject and rouse people for success. Remember he said that “We can do just about anything!”
- He was genuine and warm when interacting with other Londoners and other British leaders in Commons. personally visited and spoke with Londoners and tried to motivate them not just as a leader, their prime minister but on a 1 to 1 basis. The essence was to maintain spirits when times were tough and they had despair. He was a believer in himself and passionate that he could lead. He survived criticisms too.
- Well read Writer
- He read the classics and parsed them to better understand how they communicated facts and were able to influence the reader. He published several books and painted too as a stress reliever too. Political enemies he confronted with an effort that was required to succeed. A dedicated man, Churchill was a soldier, war correspondent, writer and a statesman, who was passionate about the betterment of his country, regardless of criticisms, good and bad. Of course, his passion, which was more than just winning the war, would be shown later in his career. As a great writer, he published a great deal of books, including “The River War”, which is a biography of his father, a story of his ancestry and his memoirs of the war that covered 6 volumes. Aside from this, he also took up painting as pastime during the war.
- Keep trying
- He kept working on his skills and message. He was not just a salesman but also used the product too. Another words, he tried to motivate himself too when England was losing extensive amounts of planes and others questioned whether they could succeed. He worked on improving himself. He believed that he was the leader that Britain needed at the time of trouble and despair. He believed in attitude. Remember he said, "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."
- He was able to state a clea goals and the means to achieve the goals. He goaded and worked with the United States bluntly to obtain assistance in their mutual endeavor. He did not want to settle or surrender to the Germans. He wanted to win at all costs and was able to rally the people. A great leader will have visions and is not shy of showing them to his followers.
- The key is that one cannot swallow a pill or memorize or absorb these skills and instantly become a successful leader. Circumstantially, history will never know if he had run for office in the US would he have been elected. He was the leader for a specific time, place and country. He was well loved too, blunt when he had to be and forthright in earnest effort. But still there are so many events in his life that if they had gone the other way he might not have been the leader of England, but that is not the objective of this blog.
In the end, how would these skills have translated to the private sector, I would have loved to see.