Churchill's ''Ten Commandments'' - essential for corporate leadership

Sir Winston Churchill,Quora

Sir Winston Churchill  Russia Beyond
Sir Winston Churchill, the two time PM of Britain, a hardcore conservative politician, was as much well-known for his oration as for his carping and racist remarks on India, Indians and Gandhi. Set aside the blots on his character, we have to accept the fact that his inherent leadership ability emerged in full bloom during the WWII (early 1940s)  when things were going in favor of Nazi Germany. Churchill's good  reputation rests almost exclusively on his wartime leadership. In the later half of his political career, he displayed certain traits that he nurtured over a period of time and on many occasions they were at full display. He is a bundle of everything that a leader is made of, most importantly, he was a team player when serious issues came up for discussion in the House of Commons. When he was defeated on the India issue in the early1930s , he he told his opponents, “you need not expect anything but silence  or help from us.” Never in his life was he bothered by failures, losses and criticisms.  All these traits made him a charismatic leader and wherever he went he carried an aura about him that was quite irresistible, not withstanding  the darker side of his controversial personality. He was always optimistic even under the 'shadow of pessimism' - a unique trait that stood him in good stead in his long eventful life.  His inspiring traits are: ability to give spell-binding speeches, courage of conviction, trust in his self, optimism and motivation, loyalty to the British empire , oblivious to failures and  above all perseverance when in distress.
 Below I put together some of  Churchill's traits and also his own quotes that will be of some help to corporate managers  who want  to  sharpen their leadership  qualities  to become effective business captains. 

01. Communication and language skill:  Churchill's natural forte is his command over his mother tongue. In modern history no British politician had better rhetorical powers than Churchill had.  No one can deny the potency of his lines  like  "we shall fight them on the beaches", "blood, sweat and tears" and "their finest hour"? or his funny lines with a punch , '' A good speech should be like a woman's skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest''. So, if you want to climb the corporate ladder, develop a good writing and  communication skill that will give you extra strength and leverage over others.

02. Loyalty and devotion:

 Churchill's loyalty to the Crown and the country can not be questioned. So were his war duties and his professional career as a politician;  his loyalty and devotion to duty took precedence over others.
For the corporate managers, your foremost requisite  is loyalty to your duty  and your words and deeds should be focused in that direction. 

 3. Work and responsibility:
 Churchill has contended, ''The price of greatness is responsibility''.
To him how good you perform your duty is more important than how fast you succeed.  So, you must love your profession and the job given to you. Have the right aptitude and set your priorities before getting down to your task be conversant with the task you are going to perform  and the details about it. 

04. Recording  daily activities :Churchill's  reputation rests not only on his well-documented life but also on his own voluminous, self-penned, memoirs. Part of his success was due to self-criticism. Self-monitoring is a way to judge his efficiency.

If you are  in the management cadre with responsibility, maintaining a brief record of your daily activities in your company vis-a-vis with your subordinates is well and good. You can recollect the past events and avoid pitfalls in the future.
Sir Winston Churchill Pinterest

05. Ability to foretell:
 As a statesman and leader Churchill had a keen eye for strategic opportunity; not all his plans were successful. But he understood well Britain's name in the global stage as a Maritime power. 
 He was one of the few politicians who had  found in Hitler a devil and after reading Hitler's Mein Kampf  he was shocked by his nefarious intentions.  Long before the rise of Hitler, he warned the other European countries about the impending danger posed by Hitler. 
 A corporate  manager should look ahead and stay focused on the company's future plan, depending on the market situation.
churchill cartoons

06. Don't be afraid of failures:

 Mind you,  all great people of history succeed and fail. But the impact of great peoples' successes outweigh those of their failures, Churchill failed in many as follows -
Churchill's misadventure in  Gallipoli campaign (in 1915) , and failure to land the troops  on the shores of  the Dardanelles strait was a fiasco, causing his political career. His 1925 budget  and returning to gold standard  prolonged the industrial slump;  Disastrous invasion of Norway  in the Spring of 1940 and Churchill's wrong strategy with respect to Eastern Europe (the Yalta conference in 1945) brought down his name. Through out the stressful period,  Churchill was calm and composed amid the most trying circumstances and never lost sight of his focus. After each failure, Churchill became more energetic than ever  before.

  ''Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm''.

07. Be persistent:

Churchill has felt ''continuous effort is the key to unlock our potential; not either intelligence or strength''. So, when you running a company or holding a responsible position in an enterprise, keep working hard in the right direction and put in enough effort to move the organization forward.

08. Don't be afraid of enemies

They are the ones who keep you busy and make you  understand what you lack and how  to make it up.
 In the corporate sector you've enemies  in plenty, ready to see you head over heels. Stand up to them firmly and prove your points that are not detrimental to your company's growth.  

Churchill said, ''You have enemies? Good, that means you have stood up for something, sometime in your life''.

09. Negotiations

Churchill is of the opinion that if you are sympathetic with the negotiators, you give them room to take advantage of your weakness / sympathy. He asked Viceroy Lord Irwin not to hold a dialogue with Gandhi  during India' s Salt Satyagraha (1930-1931)
 In Churchill's opinion, the Viceroy's agreeing to speak to Gandhi involved a serious loss of face for the British in India. As he put it: "It is never possible to make concessions to Orientals when they think you are weak or afraid of them."

As for management of companies, 'When making negotiations with other companies, be firm and talk less. Do not throw concessions unless there is a necessity'.

10. Holding a firm grip:  Churchill wanted Britain to hang on to the British colonies, in particular, to India which vastly contributed for  war expenses from the Indian Treasury during WWI and WWII. Revenue from India was so vast, it  improved the British economy considerably, but after the war it was in deep trouble. For the British India was a hen laying golden egg. Churchill never wanted to lose India, Britain's El Dorado.  When companies acquire new businesses and, if they turn out to be profitable, stick with such acquisitions and don't let them slip past you.