"Values are fundamental beliefs that an individual considers to be important, that are relatively stable over time, and that have an impact on attitudes, perception, and behavior" (Daft, 2008). Leaders must lead by example by embodying the identity and values of the organization. Winston Churchill believed that the Allies would prevail over the Axis powers of evil. His belief in unconditional victory guided his morals and ethics in every decision he made during the war. An excellent example is when he was faced with the real moral dilemma of seeking Stalin's help despite Russia's regime based solely on cruelty and humiliation.
The conflict was picking the lesser of two evils between Nazism and Communism. Regardless, Churchill did not hesitate in making the right moral and ethical decision of incorporating Stalin's Russia into the Allied powers to defeat Hitler's Axis of evil. Winston Churchill was faced with many ethical challenges during his lifetime. An excellent example was his approval of area bombing where British bombers would drop explosive and incendiary bombs on German cities. Over 500,000 Germans lost their lives and close to three million dwellings were destroyed as a result of this strategy.
When questioned with this strategy, Churchill insisted that his decision was necessary and just by his comments to the Bomber Command of "we should never allow ourselves to apologize for what we did to Germany" (Hastings, 2009). His courage never crumbled and moral compass never swayed when making the tough decisions that guided his nation. Churchill's Evolution Churchill's is best known for his leadership as Prime Minister during World War II. He was 65 years old when charged with leading his nation to victory. Churchill was a man of great integrity and worldly experiences which enhanced his leadership style.
He had been a member of parliament for nearly 40 years, held senior posts both at home and abroad, served in the Queen's Hussars as a cavalry officer, a writer, painter, activist, and father to three daughters and a son. During his career he had experienced both failure and unpopularity. Without a doubt, Churchill's extensive experiences that he accumulated were central to his leadership style. The lessons learned throughout his life led to his decisive personality while aiding him in making the right decisions. In studying Winston Churchill, one can conclude that his experiences were the key factors to his leadership success.
He was able to learn from his mistakes and adapt to a dynamic world shrouded in chaos. If Churchill lacked the experiences he had, I'm sure he would have not been as nearly effective or famous. He truly had a lion's heart and never lost sight of his vision of "never, never, never giving up" (Johnson, 1972). Winston Churchill's experiences could never be replicated. However, his lessons learned from experiences can be taught to other leaders and incorporated into their individual leadership styles. Self Assessment Winston Churchill has always been a leader I've admired and wanted to learn more about.
In researching his life, Winston Churchill had amazing leadership traits that I will try to emulate in my leadership development. What I admired most about Churchill was his charisma, optimism, courage, and public speaking ability. He was a standout leader in the face of adversity and rallied a nation to a common cause and above all, human. Churchill had his faults as a leader and made mistakes with lasting impacts. Known for his "black dog" as he called his depression, Churchill did not let it mar his life (Rubin, 2003).
Through his bouts of depression, Churchill turned towards painting and found an avenue for mental release that provided his calmness under stress. I would have loved to work with this amazing leader to see firsthand what it takes to be successful during times of peril. Very few leaders today have the same leadership qualities as Winston Churchill but those that do, stand out and are extremely effective in leading people. Winston Churchill's legacy will always be remembered as the savior of Great Britain from Hitler's Third Reich.
If Neville Chamberlain never stepped down as Prime Minister, it is quite possible that the outcome of World War II would have been quite different. With Churchill at the helm, Britain defied the odds and led his nation towards victory. "Churchill's faith in Britain and its destiny gave him his courage, his optimism, and his ambition" (Rubin, 2003). The legacy that he wanted to leave behind was for a stronger British Empire free from tyranny and evil. Unfortunately, he outlived his own time as he paid the heavy price of victory by losing the British Empire he cherished so much.
Towards the end of his life, Churchill believed he failed the Empire as America became a dominant world power and the citizens wanting a different Britain than what he envisioned. Regardless, Churchill accomplished his goals in the long term as Great Britain has become the model nation he always wanted. I've learned a lot about effective leadership in Winston Churchill. I've gained an appreciation of what it takes to lead a mass of people during times of crisis. The lessons learned throughout his life will always be something to remember to avoid making the same mistakes.
In times of peril, great leaders can inspire their people through charisma and effective speech writing. More importantly, having a clear, defined vision is imperative in leading people through times of crisis. Another aspect of Churchill that I've learned is to ask the question "why stand when you can sit" (Johnson, 1972). The lesson learned is to take time for you as a leader to recharge the mental battery to prevent making poor decisions. Leadership effectiveness is measured differently per individual. A large part of leadership is based on personality and personal experiences.
Education in leadership provides different aspects and methods in leading people to achieve set tasks or objectives. Learning about Churchill's life, I've broadened my leadership horizons through his experiences, failures and success. I've also gained an appreciation to different viewpoints from people who worked directly with famous leaders. Different opinions of how effective a leader is or was provides a well rounded analysis of the inner workings of that leader. Leadership is an art that requires constant study and application to be effective.
Integrating Winston Churchill's broad leadership spectrum provides a case study on how to effectively lead in times of crisis while shedding light on how to overcome large scale failures. Conclusion Winston Churchill will be attributed as being one of the most extraordinary figures of the twentieth century. During the Second World War, as prime minister, he was both defiant to Hitler's ambitions and a beacon of hope for a war torn Europe. Churchill was a famous writer and master of the spoken word. His charisma and optimism should be an example to all aspiring leaders.
In studying Churchill, people are presented with a lifetime of trials and tribulations and can learn from his successes and failures through tumultuous times. He was a man of supreme confidence, perseverance, and charisma while believing in the greater good and written word. People who are fighting as an underdog or struggling to survive can learn from Winston Churchill and follow his belief of "never flinch, never weary, never despair" (Johnson, 1972). More importantly, any aspiring leader or effective follower would benefit from studying Churchill's leadership style and lessons learned during one of the darkest periods in history.