Prime Minister Churchill during the Second World War knew he had to motivate the British people and chose to focus on radio speeches versus partaking in important Cabinet discussions. Churchill knew that his cause would be lost without the backing of the British population. Therefore, he focused on being a relationship-oriented leader where he established mutual trust and respect while listening to his people. The overall goal was to defeat the Nazi's and the method he chose in accomplishing that goal was through motivational speeches.
Churchill was a leader who could adapt his leadership style to suit the situation. He exercised the Hersey and Blanchard style of leadership due to his ability to adjust his task or relationship style to accommodate the readiness level of his subordinates (Daft, 2008). I believe this style of leadership to be most effective during times of crisis as people constantly change their readiness levels in dynamic situations. Great leaders are able to adopt differing leadership styles regardless of the people they work with and as the situation dictates. Churchill's Vision
When Churchill became Prime Minister for the first time, he had the vision of victory at all costs over Hitler's Nazi Regime. His superb writing talents allowed him to effectively articulate his vision for Britain and her Allies. "A vision is more than a dream-it is an ambitious view of the future that everyone involved can believe in, one that can realistically be achieved, yet one that offers a future that is better in important ways than what now exists" (Daft, 2008). Churchill wisely judged that the survival of Britain depended largely on help from the United States.
As a result, he formed his vision and strategy around America's involvement. Churchill also had the unique ability of making people understand what was best for the county while inspiring the masses through his breath taking speeches. Winston Churchill will never be criticized for not being a passionate man. He was extremely passionate and firmly believed that his country would achieve victory. Finally, Churchill was able to grasp key facts without labored analysis and direct his followers in accomplishing their respective missions (Rubin, 2003).
He defined the overarching goal of how to achieve victory while developing an alliance with the United States and eventually, Russia. Churchill was a hands-off leader with the citizens and soldiers thanks to his well articulated vision. Churchill's Communication Leadership Winston Churchill mastered the art of communication. "Leaders use communication to inspire and unite people around a common sense of purpose and identity" (Daft, 2008). Churchill was able to distill his message to something that was accessible to the citizens of Britain who didn't necessarily share his knowledge or background.
As Winston says, "If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time" (Johnson, 1972). Communication must flow both ways to be effective. Unfortunately, Winston Churchill was never considered a good listener but his pursuit of victory overshadowed this flaw. Leaders must ensure the communication channels are open and learn to actively listen to their employees. Churchill's charisma cut through his communication flaws and added to his phenomenal leadership persona.
Aspiring leaders can learn from the former Prime Minister by his charismatic speeches that inspired a nation. Public speaking is only one aspect of communication, the ability to actively listen and write must be mastered to embolden leadership communication. Churchill's Characteristics One of the most essential elements of leadership is decision making. The ability to make the very best decisions consistently is a key to successful leadership. Winston Churchill had the effective decision making skills to lead his nation to victory.
"Organizations need both a broad and inspiring vision and an underlying plan for how to achieve it" (Daft, 2008). Churchill's courageous vision enhanced his decisiveness which was critical to his leadership approach. Other factor's that's attributed to the way he led was the calmness he exuded amid commotion and crisis. This imparted confidence among his colleagues and followers and was instrumental in his amazing productivity and concentration. Another important aspect of his leadership was his encouragement to complete discussions of critical issues, and never firing or reprimanding anyone from openly disagreeing with him.
Churchill's own self-criticism, independence, and habit of seeking advice led him to change his mind from time to time. Being heard is essential in keeping employees motivated in the workplace and helps solidify a high performance culture. Winston Churchill would have most likely have succeeded during any wartime era. He left a lasting legacy due to his remarkable achievements throughout World War II. Unfortunately, history proves that Churchill would have to overcome different challenges when faced with a peacetime era. This was evident after World War II when he was not reelected as Prime Minister.
His vision was not in-line with a post war British Empire as influences of power shifted on a global scale. If Churchill would have adapted his leadership style to the peacetime era, than he could have enjoyed the same success as his finest days fighting Hitler. He was an inspirational leader that answered the call during a critical point in history. His character traits and beliefs were a perfect match in inspiring people during their darkest hours. Outside times of crises, I believe Churchill would not be as effective of a leader in different cultures or nations.
Churchill's Change Leadership Winston Churchill used his leadership skills to restructure the British military, government, and manufacturing sectors to support his efforts in rearming the country and to get ready for the Nazi invasion. After his appointment to Prime Minister, he started making changes immediately. His change leadership was instrumental in defeating the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. He helped shape an agile and responsive RAF allowing them to repel a much larger and better equipped enemy.
In addition, his changes to the manufacturing sector speed up the production of new aircraft to replace their staggering losses. The key elements to effective change are motivation, vision and understanding what the next step is. "Leaders who can successfully accomplish change typically define themselves as change leaders, describe a vision for the future in vivid terms, and articulate values that promote change and adaptability" (Daft, 2008). Winston Churchill communicated his vision to the masses and directed the desired changes necessary in achieving that vision.