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A Person I Admire Winston Churchill INTRODUCTION Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, (30 November 1874 24 January 1965) was

s a British politician andstatesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He is widely regarded as one of the great wartime leaders and served asPrime Minister twice (1940 45 and 1951 55). A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. To date, he is the only British prime minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature, and he was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States. Churchill was born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a charismatic politician who served asChancellor of the Exchequer; his mother, Jenny Jerome, an American socialite. As a young army officer, he saw action in British India, the Sudan and theSecond Boer War. He gained fame as a war correspondent and through books he wrote about his campaigns. At the forefront of politics for fifty years, he held many political and cabinet positions. Before World War I, he served as President of the Board of Trade,Home Secretary and First Lord of the Admiralty as part of the Asquith Liberal government. During the war, he continued as First Lord of the Admiralty until the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign, which he had sponsored, caused his departure from government. He then served briefly on the Western Front, commanding the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He returned to government as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War, and Secretary of State for Air. After the War, Churchill served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Conservative (Baldwin) government of 1924 29, controversially returning the pound sterling in 1925 to the gold standard at its pre-War parity, a move widely seen as creating deflationary pressure on the UK economy. Also controversial were Churchill's opposition to increased home rule for India, and his resistance to the 1936 abdication of Edward VIII. Out of office and politically "in the wilderness" during the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in warning about the danger from Hitler and in campaigning for rearmament. On the outbreak of World War II, he was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister. His steadfast refusal to consider defeat, surrender or a compromise peace helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult early days of the War when Britain stood alone in its active opposition to Hitler. Churchill was particularly noted for his speeches and radio broadcasts, which helped inspire the British people. He led Britain as Prime Minister until victory had been secured over Nazi Germany. After the Conservative Party lost the 1945 election, he became Leader of the Opposition. In 1951, he again became Prime Minister, before retiring in 1955. Upon his death, The Queen granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of world statesmen ever. Churchill is widely regarded as among the most influential men in British history. Adapted and adopted from


An average man, who was not tall, nor young, nor handsome nor even seemed sane enough, has been elected to be the president of one of the most powerful countries of all time, but relatively weak at that time. This person, whom I know from my English teacher during Form 1, was probably one of the most famous man alive and arguably the most influential person in the history of United Kingdom. Taking over from an inefficient, ignorant and incompetentNeville Chamberlain, this man s shoulder held many of the worst responsibilities one could have held, each one of it enough to wound him deeply in body and soul. Just across the sea, the German army, led by the notorious but extremely powerful and brilliant Adolf Hitler, along with its allies, has been attacking and conquering country after country. Two of Britain s strongest allies, France and Russia, were in dire straits. France has fallen to the Germans while the Russians are fighting desperately to keep the German army at bay at the borders. Belgium, Poland, Netherlands and many other countries have been conquered by the Germans. Britain was the Europe s greatest hope as well as Germany s greatest threat. As the Germans prepare to cross the sea, Britain, who has not been conquered since the ancient Roman times, gained the much-needed spirit and hope to fight back. Churchill, whose words and speeches are as superior and inspiring as, if not more than, Hitler s, almost single-handedly turned the seemingly irresistible tide and indirectly brought an end to the most woeful and harrowing wars in history the Second World War. Churchill, in my opinion, did not enter politics for fame. He just wanted to do what he has always wanted to do. He got married, had kids and took up some position in the administration. He was involved in World War I, but only as an officer in the army, not the Commander-in-Chief or other superior-level positions. Before the dawn of World War II, he was already an old man, and plans of retiring kept surging through his mind. He was 66, but he took the post as Prime Minister anyway because he knew that the country needed him. He had to face one of the most fearful foes in history, a horrible monster, the much-feared and despised Hitler. Yet he showed no signs of retreat, and together with the British people, defeated the Germans and brought finality to the sufferings and grief in Europe. One of his most famous quotes, which is the highly praised I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat continue to inspire freedom fighters, revolutionaries and non-conformists to stand up for what is right and to continue to pursue their dreams of a better future. One of the qualities I admire in Churchill is his courage. This is a leadership trait that Winston Churchill had in spades! Courage is both infectious and inspirational. Churchill once said, Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities... because it is the quality which guarantees all others.Churchill even today is seen to personify Courageous Leadership. He is often equated to bravery, heroism and fearlessness. His words and image are frequently used to stand for bravery and defiance to cruelty and dictatorship. Throughout his life Churchill exhibited great personal bravery - much of it bordering on a death wish. His was not however pure unthinking courage - his physical acts of bravery: whether to inspire his troops on the Western Front on 1916, seeking to further his reputation in the Malakand valley in 1897 or by Victoria Cross hunting at Diamond Hill in 1900 - where all designed to achieve something. Ironically, it was with some regret that for all his many decorations none of his medals were for valour. Other than physical bravery, Churchill also had a special type of courage moral courage. Churchill s nemesis, Hitler, had plenty of courage and guts, but he did not have any single spot of moral courage in his stone-cold heart. This made Churchill a much more lovable and successful leader than the lunatic Hitler. Whether developed through his upbringing or held deep within his genes, Churchill's determination to do the right thing and his belief that he was doing the right thing was unbreakable. As a young man he always believed that he would die young (his father died age 43) and this may explain

his near recklessness and physical bravery in early years. After passing the age his father reached, Churchill's in built self-belief that he was destined for great things continued to fuel his moral determination. This meant he was able to take the tough and heart-rending decisions necessary to win the war - for example his order to sink the French fleet at Oran after the French sued for peace with the Nazis and refused alternative options to scuttle or sail to neutral waters. War is impossibly agonizing and harsh the true leader has to be able to cope with this reality. When times were desperate, battle after battle was lost, to a nation on the brink of capitulation Churchill always seemed to project pure confidence. Without doubt, there must have been some element of "faking it". He never let his guard down and would stamp out defeatism wherever he encountered it - anything less than sheer focussed confidence was unacceptable from his team of leaders. He knew that he had to remain cool and confident at all time, or at least appear to be. To maintain this, Churchill must have been quite an actor: he knew the harsh realities and at that time when Britain and her Empire stood alone, he didn't know of any way they could win the war. Survival itself looked doubtful! Yet, for the average Brit' at home their leader was totally confident. Call it a white lie if you have to, but "faking it" when grim situations call for it, is part of noble and excellent leadership! Another quality I admire about Churchill is his decisiveness. For many people decision making is the very essence of leadership. The ability to take the very best decisions consistently is a key leadership trait.when it came to taking the most serious and tough decisions, which he would rehearse in his mind, he could be ruthless. The most often quoted example of his ruthless decision making is the July 1940 order to open fire on French warships at anchor in Oran. This came about after the French-German armistice in which it was decreed that French warships would be handed over to the Nazis. Britain was desperate that these vessels should not make up part of a German invasion fleet and offered their French commanders a choice: either scuttle (sink) the boats, hand them over to the British Royal navy or alternatively sail them to a neutral port for the duration of the war. If none of these options were taken then it was clearly communicated that the Royal navy would attack and attempt to sink or disable them. Tragically for the 1,250 French sailors who died the French commanders refused the British terms and their warships were attacked. Churchill, who loved France and the French is on record as having found the decision horrendous and he wept after announcing the decision and its consequences to the House of Commons. The (somewhat unexpected) benefit of this tragedy was that it cemented in the minds of the American leadership (in particular Roosevelt) that Britain was prepared to fight on and tough it out. Another example of taking (the right) tough decision was Churchill's order that the wounded should be the last to be evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk. At the time the prevailing belief was that less than 50,000 could be safely evacuated and Britain desperately needed able bodied soldiers for her defence. It therefore was undoubtedly the correct decision, but a horrid one to take nevertheless. Churchill could and did take tough decisions but this was always tempered with his sensitive and humane nature. Don't forget, this was a man who had experienced first-hand the horrific (and often unnecessary) slaughter of the trenches of the First World War - he tried as hard as he could not to make the same mistakes. He would never shirk from making the tough decisions, but he was never reckless in his treatment of human life.
Churchill is also very skilful in communication. His awesome and inspiring speeches and talks were even more effective than those of the other political leaders of Britain combined. Winston Churchill was a master

communicator. It perhaps goes without saying that the leadership trait of communication is an essential aspect of almost every task. Leadership is about working productively through and with others and this

cannot be achieved without the ability to communicate.Communication skills, perhaps because they are so obvious are often overlooked and taken for granted, but not by He was an upper class Edwardian gentleman and his language reflected that. Perhaps he could sound a little pompous at times. But what he did do in his speeches was to unfold his argument carefully; yes with (wonderful) sweeping turns of phrase, though he never patronized or talked down to his audience and he delivered clear and convincing messages that appealed to both the heart and the head of the listener. He had a marvellous ability to simplify and streamline complex issues and effectively give spin-free fluent "executive summaries" to the nation or the House. Immediately on becoming Prime Minister, Churchill radically reorganized the communication systems between the politicians and the heads of the 3 military services. This reorganization took some months to perfect, but at its hub were the frequent (often daily) meetings between Churchill and the 3 Chiefs of Staff. As part of this Churchill created the Ministry of Defence with him, naturally, at its head. This avoided some of the problems of the First World War when communication between the army and the navy was frequently an issue. Also reporting into the ministry of defence were key planning and intelligence staff. Other boards were set up as the need for them arose - each with a high degree of Churchillian input: Production Council, Raw Materials Board, Battle of the Atlantic Committee, Import Executive et al. All of this gave Churchill enormous access to all the key information and people needed to run a country in wartime. The workload of any peacetime Prime minister is prodigious - that of a wartime leader must be 10 fold greater. Therefore it was necessary for Churchill to have an effective private office to support him. At the core of this team were his Private Secretaries, who worked at his side on a rota basis 7 days a week. This team got to know Churchill better than all but his closest friends and family and became able to interpret the merest grunt or nod! They had to be able to retrieve any relevant document (or person) as they were needed and they managed his diary and appointments - wherever Churchill was in the World. This all helped make the sheer quantity of communication a wartime leader needs to have a possibility. Churchill was a great orator and a master of the written word (as his Nobel prize for literature attests) as well as this Winston Churchill was a highly visible leader. He was forever going to visit factories, gun batteries, bomb damaged streets etc. These provided wonderful boosts to the morale of those he visited but also wonderful photo opportunities for the next days newspapers and newsreels. His trademarks: Bower hat, spotted bowties, cigar and V-sign all made him vastly memorable. Winston loved face to face meetings: it was he who coined the idea of "summits". He travelled extensively to meet others and to communicate with (and persuade) them: the USA, Canada, Malta, Casablanca, Normandy, Moscow, Tehran, Yalta, Rhineland, African desert et al. It was said that those he met and communicated with left Churchill believing they could do or achieve anything! It was the character traits mentioned above that made me admire Churchill. He may as well be the saviour of the world by indirectly bringing an ultimate end to one of the bloodiest wars in history. He made me realise that although we may not have any strong physical strengths or high intelligence, as long as we are strong spiritually and mentally, we can definitely bring a positive change to the world. It does not matter whether we are just an average person. No person is average in this world and everyone is special in their own way. Although he has been gone for quite some time, his incredible speeches and beautiful quotes as well as his brave exploits continues to be lauded till this very day.