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“It’s not how will we survive, but how will we prevail.” 

As a little boy he would often cry himself to sleep at night. In the 6th grade at a boarding school in England, he struggled painfully with his studies and was hopelessly failing. During recess, he would run into the woods and hide because the other boys would relentlessly tease him. They said he had a head that was too big!

Finally, one day the school master sent a note home to his mother. It simply read, “Your boy shows a conspicuous lack of success.” His mother used it as a tool for motivation instead of humiliation.

Years later this little boy had grown into Sir Winston Churchill. He waved that very same note as he was sworn in as Prime Minister of the British people twice (1940-1945 and 1951-1955).

He became the “Voice of Hope” and a great world leader who took on Hitler and the evils of Nazi Germany. In one of his great speeches he said, “Everyone is asking on the streets, ‘How will the British people survive?’ We are asking the wrong question. It’s not how will we survive, but how will we prevail?”

He taught the British people to have a prevailing spirit!

What about your personal leadership?
• Has someone tried to pin a note on you like “a conspicuous lack of success?”
• Has a so-called failing or setback in your business or relationship convinced you to devalue your personal worth?


It is time to shift!

Simply put, let those “small voices” fire you up. Shift from surviving to prevailing! Churchill hit the pinnacle of leadership in his 60’s and 70’s. It is not too late for you or for me!

I remember over 25 years ago when I was about to move my little family to Seattle to start my life over. I had a leader I respected deeply tell me “Steve, you are making a big mistake. It is too risky. Don’t do it.” He chuckled as he told me I would be a “casualty.”

It was exactly what I needed to hear! It fired me up! There were some tough and turbulent times. We didn’t know a soul and we were lonely. But years later, Seattle is home and we love it. I am grateful to have established a prevailing leadership company teaching other organizations to prevail! I have new life-long friends and scores of great memories with plenty more to be made! The leader who gave me the negative advice has since passed away. But I still owe him a lot. That was my Churchill moment.

You can have one too!

“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.”

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is courage to continue that counts.”

“Excuse me, Steve, we are not burn victims, we are survivors!”

I don’t know where it comes from because for the most part I have a wonderful life. Not a Jimmy Stewart, Wonderful Life, but a darn good one. Which makes it even more perplexing and even downright frustrating that I find myself having pity parties. Poor me. Too much work. Too little recreation. I invite me, myself, and into a little room of pity.

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