The 25 Principles of Churchillian Leadership


Stephen Mansfield offers 25 principles based on the leadership of Winston Churchill

I can think of no better way to honor Winston Churchill than to encourage a new generation of leaders to build upon his vision. Accordingly, I offer below the 25 principles of Churchillian leadership that I first presented in my book, Never Give In: The Extraordinary Character of Winston Churchill.

 Make them your own.

  1. Leadership is the power to shape the future.

  2. Bitterness erodes strong leadership: it anchors a leader to the past, distracting him from the promise of the future.

  3. Biology need not be destiny.

  4. A leader is often his own best teacher.

  5. Overwhelming moral and physical courage is at the foundation of all great leadership.

  6. Exceptional courage is born of a profound sense of destiny.

  7. To offer a people hope is to acquire a position of leadership in their lives

  8. Religious faith elevates leaders by freeing them from the cult of the contemporary.

  9. The quality of a leader is often reflected in the quality of his marriage.

  10. Leadership is not a popularity contest; criticism is part of the job.

  11. Leaders are forged as much by time in the wilderness as by times of popularity.

  12. True leadership requires hard work—there is no substitute.

  13. The courage to look hard realities in the face is essential to effective leadership.

  14. A leader must see himself as the guardian of a heritage for future generations

  15. A man cannot lead his generation if he cannot lead his children.

  16. Great leadership is held aloft by the winds of compassion.

  17. When a leader needs a break, a change is often as good as a rest.

  18. Men who believe in eternal life seldom fear death in this life.

  19. A sense of humor reflects a healthy grasp of the difference between what is and what ought to be

  20. A leader will only command the level of loyalty he is willing to give to others.

  21. Great leaders apply the past to the present so as to shape the future.

  22. Words are the arsenal of leadership.

  23. Leaders can never afford to lose the beauty of life in the corrosive tedium of work.

  24. A firm grasp on eternal realities enables a leader to stand apart from his age and show it the way.

  25. The leader’s task is to recognize the currents of change and harness their power for good.

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