As the ravages of World War II intensified in the late 1930s, the armies of the United Kingdom were facing what appeared to be a hopeless fight against Germany.
Winston Churchill, the impassioned Prime Minister, took to the Parliament floor and the radio airwaves to rouse the people. He once told the House of Commons,
“Let us, therefore, brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’” Churchill took responsibility for England’s destiny. He inspired and mobilized his countrymen in the face of uncertainty. In many ways, Churchill provided the decisive leadership that kept England from falling into the clutches of the German war machine.
Churchill is an example of what it means to take responsibility as a leader. When others began to talk about peripheral matters, Churchill reminded them, “The price of greatness is responsibility.”
True leaders are those willing to take on the terrible burden of the mission. They know that someone has to be responsible for the lives of the people. They aren’t willing to stand back while things fall apart. A sense of responsibility compels them to act.
J.D. King is a blogger, speaker, and an emerging thought leader. He is the author of Shift: Leading in Transition, Why You’ve Been Duped into Believing that the World is Getting Worse, and other nonfiction works.
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