Classic Leadership Wisdom: More from Churchill

Winston Churchill is best known for his leadership of Great Britain through World War II, and many of his best-known quotes come from that time. But some of my favorite Churchill sayings come from the later part of his life, when he was no longer prime minister and had leisure to reflect on leadership, change, and human nature. Here is a sampling.

The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.

I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.

True genius resides in the capacity for the evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.

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 honour and good sense.

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.

When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened.

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.

Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all.

About Jocelyn R Davis

Jocelyn Davis is Principal of Seven Learning, a leadership development firm that creates a lasting lift in leaders' effectiveness using classic books, films, and stories.
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