During my continued pursuit to understanding leadership, Winston Churchill has frequently been a point of focus.
This holiday weekend we visited the National Churchill Museum, historic site of his famous “Iron Curtain” speech.
Churchill thrived during times of war.
I have occasionally seen criticisms of him for this, implying that “real leadership” would have allowed him to assert his value during times of peace as well, suggesting that perhaps his leadership ability was partial or limited. It is important to note that he served as Prime Minister during times of peace, but most certainly thrived during times of war.
Of course, there is also the theory that “time” and “circumstances” produce leaders out of individuals that otherwise might not have been notable. For example, if Martin Luther King Jr. was born in the 1950’s instead of the 1920’s, which allowed him to come of age right at a pivotal moment during the civil rights movement, would there still be a MLK holiday?
Perhaps he still would have been notable, but for a different reason. Or might the civil rights movement been delayed, waiting on him to come of age …
It is all interesting to ponder.
During my visit to the museum, I gained a greater respect for his accomplishments and deeper understanding of his complexities. His greatest successes were certainly during war times, and that is ok.
He does not have to be all things, to all people, in every season. And neither do we. He was the man of the hour when his Country needed him the most. That is all anyone could ask.
Cultivate your gifts, refine your craft, and be prepared to respond in your season. What more could anyone ask of you?
Dr. Gia Suggs is an Organization Development Consultant. She manages her private practice, Dr. Gia Consulting. She is also a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois. Dr. Gia is the author of Onboarding; Maximizing the Success of New Employees.
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