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A lesson in steadfastness from Winston Churchill; Essay by Todd Schnick

Winston Churchill, the newly installed British Prime Minister, at the dawn of World War II, said the following in a speech to the House of Commons, May, 1940:

“I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.’ We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime.”

I love the singleness of purpose demonstrated here. There was only one focus, to wage war against the enemy. Nothing more, nothing less.

Inspiring.

And a critical lesson for all of us in the course of how we conduct our lives and business.
Fair to say that I have not always done this. And I suspect the same can be said of you.

Oh, it is easy to get distracted by new bells and whistles, by the endless demands of life around us, and by all the noise that surrounds us.

But that is not sustainable. You, like Churchill, have to have a singleness of purpose in what you want/need to achieve. And then, every strategic move you make has to be geared towards that purpose.

And this is a never ending process. It takes a lot of effort, focus and endless discipline to maintain singleness of purpose.

It isn’t easy. And that’s the message here.

You have to have courage here. Despite the evil that Britain faced at the dawn of WWII, there were many British politicians who wanted to stand in Churchill’s way (and why he was giving the speech cited above).

But he was steadfast in purpose. And the British people, and ultimately history, stood valiantly with him.

You have to be steadfast too.


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