Three Modern Leadership Lessons from Winston Churchill

Three Modern Leadership Lessons from Winston Churchill

When Churchill first became Prime Minister of England, he found himself fighting two losing battles… one losing battle against Hitler, who was winning the war at that time, and the other losing battle against reluctant members of his own party, who were very much opposed to his vision for the country at that time. Here are three modern leadership lessons from Winston Churchill that we can apply to our business today:

1: First, Get Your Team on Your Side.

Before he even attempted to fight a costly war against an outsider, Churchill knew that he must first win the most important battle of all: the battle for the heart and soul of his own team, his fellow citizens. He focused first on getting his team on his side and rallying them so that together, they could wage war against their common enemy and win.

2: Re-Arrange the Characters in the Story.

Churchill’s opponents inside his own government felt that Churchill’s vision for the country was all wrong, that he was delusional, and that his insistence on fighting Hitler instead of asking nicely for peace would be disastrous for them and their people. In short, he was the villain in the story they were telling themselves.

Churchill needed everyone to understand who the real villain was. He needed to change the characters in the story they were telling themselves. He needed his clients (the British people and their leaders) to see him as their trusted advisor, as someone worth following into a battle, instead of as their enemy… and that’s exactly what he did via his eloquent and oft-quoted speeches.

3: Place Your Team and Clients Clearly in the Role of "Hero".

Churchill did not waste time or energy talking about how great he was and how awesome his ideas were. Instead, he told the British people stories about how great THEY were, and how they, in this their finest hour, would become the best version of themselves. He placed his team and clients in the role of “hero” and himself in the role of trusted advisor along their journey.

THAT, my friend, is how Churchill turned a losing battle into winning the war!

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