Never Give UP! Never Give In!!
Sometimes we are so enamored of a particular quote because of it’s surface meaning that we forget to underdstand the context of what it means for us.
Take for example the famous short quote by Sir Winston Churchill to a boy’s school in 1941:
“Never, never, never, never give up!”
This quote has inspired many people throughout the years, both personally and professionally. It has helped countless people endure through various difficult challenges
Yet the actual quote – which is part of a longer speech – gives us a great template for leadership conduct:
“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” – Sir Winston Churchill
If we meditate a moment on this we can draw some key leadership applications from Sir Winston:
- “Never give in” – Giving up means to relinquish, walk away, or resign yourself to failure. Giving in has two meanings: 1) to yield to an external force without (competition, etc), and 2) to yield to a feeling within (temptation, fatigue). A leader can ill afford to yield to outside pressures such as markets, naysayers, or critics. Neither can we yield to comfort, the easy way out, or stop to rest when we’ve laid it all on the line. Leaders with character don’t yield to others or themselves.
- “In nothing, great or small, large or petty” – The big things matter, that is why we do them. These are the (BHAG) goals, dreams, and missions that are too important to let go and never have an ultimate achievement of them. And it’s those details, the small and petty details and disciplines that you may be particular about, that define your character and round out the overall mission you’re striving for.
- “Except to convictions of honor and good sense.” – Our convictions, which we are innately born with, should never be compromised by giving in to those external forces or internal temptations. Dishonor hurts others and brings lasting shame to oneself. Poor sense leads to unwise business decisions. Giving in to anything that breeches the integrity of your convictions will lead to disaster for yourself and those around you.
The world needs leaders who will never give in. Never relent in doing the right things the right way, great and small. Never compromise your convictions of character and integrity, discernment and discretion.
Will you pledge to “Never Give In”?!
(image courtesy of livemint.com)