Winston Churchill - leadership tips

Failure stings. There is no way around it. And the more time, energy, and resources you put into a deflated attempt, the more painful it is. Many leaders throughout history struggled with failure and how to adequately deal with it. Winston Churchill, the tenacious former British prime minister who suffered from several failures and subsequent bouts of severe depression, was once quoted as saying, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Churchill endured numerous failures on his path to becoming a leader who would be pivotal in defeating the Nazis in World War II.

Churchill’s words and actions reveal many valuable leadership qualities that we can carry with us today. Here are some of them along with quotes by Winston Churchill himself:

1. A Positive Attitude

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

“I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.”

2. Enthusiasm

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

3. Effort

“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”

“I never worry about action, but only inaction.”

4. Willingness to Change

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

5. Courage

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

“Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others.”

6. Endurance

“Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer.”

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

“This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.”

7. Moral Compass

“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.”

“It is more agreeable to have the power to give than to receive.”

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

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

8. Sense of Humor

“Eating words has never given me indigestion.”

“I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”

Well, there you have it from the ‘bulldog’ himself. By focusing on these eight leadership qualities, you can channel your inner Churchill and be the kind of leader that makes a positive impact in your family, your workplace, and your community.

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*Image source: By United Nations Information Office, New York [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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