3 Leadership Lessons from Winston Churchill

| January 23, 2015


This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death. We might draw many lessons from Churchill’s life, and not all of them salutary (his views on religion, women, and alcohol come to mind). Nevertheless, Churchill was an inspiring and effective leader in a time of crisis, and it is appropriate to consider what he might teach us today about leadership.

Some Christians have mixed feelings about devoting time to learn from non-Christian leaders. But remember Isaiah calls Cyrus God’s “anointed” (Is. 45:1) and the apostle Paul calls civil authority “the servant of God” (Rom. 13:4). Wherever we find wisdom and leadership at work in the world, they are gifts of God from which we can learn. As John Calvin said, “If we regard the Spirit of God as the sole fountain of truth, we shall [not] despise it wherever it shall appear. . . . Those men whom Scripture calls ‘natural men’ were, indeed, sharp and penetrating in their investigation of inferior things.”

Here are three leadership principles from Winston Churchill that I draw from Paul Johnson’s biography, each with a corresponding lesson for us in leadership today. (For additional and more thorough lessons from Churchill, see also…


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