Be A Leader, The Churchill Way!

Review of Winston Churchill, CEO: 25 Lessons for Bold Business Leaders; Alan Axelrod; Sterling Publishing 2009; pp 262

– Susan Thomas

Winston Churchill has long been considered a symbol of fearlessness and bravery, especially during a time of grave danger to world peace. He was a prominent English statesman who shrewdly turned any defeat into opportunity and boldly demonstrated self-confidence and leadership.

Axelrod astutely utilizes a variety of stories and events of this British bulldog’s life and concisely presents 25 lessons to learn, in order to excel as a leader in a boardroom. He imparts his insights with the help of vivid quotes and historical tales.

Since 25 lessons seem too tedious to review, I have picked my favourites from this book:

1) Get down in the trenches and get your hands dirty:  showing yourself in the front lines boosts morale for everyone by demonstrating that you are in touch with your enterprise.

2) Never allow yourself to be confined in the prison of someone else’s ideas. Despite any risk, taking timely action may well allow you to define yourself before others do it for you.

3) Win Your Authority Every Day. Leaders require followers and ensure that those who do follow do so voluntarily. Make followership a matter of choice.

4)  Negotiate from Strength. Best time to enter key negotiations is when things are going well; when you are strong and have the greatest range of options. It’s hard to be persuasive when your back’s up against the wall. For instance, Mark Twain once griped that banks would lend money only if you could prove you didn’t need it.

5) Greet Hardship as Opportunity. To manage information is to discover and open the potential for profit in any event. Opportunity often requires an advocate to identify and promote it.

6) Gather Good Partners: Take every opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to your allies and your partners.

And some of my favourite Churchill sayings from this book:

“Success is the ability to go from one loss to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

“I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”



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This entry was posted on Saturday, May 21st, 2011 at 12:17 am and is filed under Non-Fiction, Reviews, Self-Help. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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