Getting Over Yourself

May 20, 2013

One reason they listened to Churchill


The odds were impossible for this little island nation (England) with limited planes and preparation to defend itself against Nazi Germany in World War II. Winston Churchill’s words were the glue that held the nation together and gave people hope that they might survive.

One of the hallmarks of every speech he gave the nation was that he didn’t dance around the problem. He spelled it out so it was clear that he understood what was happening. If he had tried to gloss it over, no one would have believed anything else he had to say or would have been willing to follow him.

Every time, he described the current problem in a straightforward manner, and then he shored up his audience with what could be done, with who they were as a nation, and why they would win. It was this combination that was so effective in knitting the nation together.

Business and government leaders would do well to study his approach and look at the outcome, the uptick in public approval after every speech. Dancing around the problem and pretending it doesn’t exist is reminiscent of  the children’s story of “The Emperor Wore No Clothes.” No credibility, and no good outcome.

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