“They are the lions. I am the roar.”
– Winston Churchill
Many people credit Winston Churchill’s weekly fireside chats as the single most influential reason that Germany and its allies were defeated. A great orator, Winston Churchill understood that he needed to communicate hope and determination to keep the British people motivated and supportive of the war.
Anyone interested in being an effective leader can employ some of Churchill’s techniques. First, he provided a vision. He spoke about the big picture and outlined the goal of the war: a world free from dictatorship. Second, he motivated people by generating enthusiasm and personalising the message individually. When people can see personal gain, they are more committed to the outcome. Third, he demonstrated determination. By staying in London and not running away from the bombing, he showed resilience and discipline during England’s darkest hours.
Leadership is about providing individuals what they can’t provide from themselves. But, just as important, the leader must share some of the credit with his followers. Churchill often said that it was the combined efforts between the people of England and his cheerleading that really won the war. A big part of leadership is giving credit where credit is due.