Today we start a series on 'Perseverance'. Some of the greatest leaders of our time (and recent history) had great failures during early parts of their lives and career. It was often the lessons learnt in the hard times that not only inspired them to carry on and achieve, but also this experience gained allowed them to develop into world leaders. Over the next couple of weeks we'll look at Walt Disney, JK Rowling, Einstein and U2 among others. We kick off the series with the greatest war time leader, Winston Churchill.
Churchill described the period between 1929 and 1939 as his 'Wilderness Years', when many in his own political party, the Conservatives, distanced themselves from him. Years earlier he had joined the Liberals, only to rejoin the Conservatives, and some felt idealogical differences that showed themselves during these times, meant Churchill lack judgement.
Of course, just a few years later he went on to be the great wartime leader that we remember, and indeed often considered to be the greatest Prime Minister Britain ever had.
Here are two extracts from superb articles on the subject - but if you really want to know mnore, I recommend a day out at Chartwell, in Kent, UK, Churchill's home. He exclaimed 'A day spent away from Chartwell is a day wasted!
'In the Spring of 1929 when the Conservative Party lost the General Election and the 54 year old Winston Churchill stepped down as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he had served in every major British Cabinet post save two: Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister. Yet Churchill was never popular with the Conservative Party’s rank and file or its leaders.'
Winston Churchill's life was a trajectory of events leading to his stand against Adolph Hitler's threat to control Europe. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Churchill helped lead a successful Allied strategy with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and General Secretary Joseph Stalin during WWII to defeat the Axis powers and craft post-war peace. After the breakdown of the alliance, he alerted the West to the expansionist threat of Soviet Communism.