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Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler were two of the biggest leaders during the Second World War. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill is best known for undertaking the role of Prime minister in the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955. Born on November 30,1874 in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England to parents Lord Randolph Churchill and Jeanette Jerome. Churchill was a somewhat rebellious child who as a result performed poorly at his first two schools. He then attended Harrow boarding school before joining the British army as a solider and part-time journalist. Churchill is famously known for inspiring his country during the war and helped forge an alliance of allied powers with the Soviet Union and united states. Due to his leadership Britain were able to defeat Hilter and the German army. Adolf Hitler is widely known for being the German Dictator who led the Nazi party in the second world war. His leadership was clearly powerful and effective as he managed to persuade his soldiers against their morals causing the deaths of nearly six million Jews. He was born on the 20th of April, 1889 in Braunau Austria. He was the fourth out of six children to parents Alois Hitler and Klara Polzl. His father died in 1903 and his mother died in 1907 leaving him as an orphan. He lacked money and stayed in homeless shelters. From a young age Hitler showed interest in German Nationalism and showed interest in art. He applied to the academy of fine arts where his application was rejected twice. In 1913 Hitler moved to Munich and applied to serve in the Germany army in world war 1. Hitler started world war 2 with his quest to control Europe and is responsible for the holocaust.
Winston Churchill was a leader who possessed many leadership qualities. He was an Honest man whose career was built on trust. Churchill said:
“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”
He realised that hiding the truth from the public was a mistake and was always upfront and brutally honest, he even received backlash for his honesty. However, despite this, this Quality of honesty is one of the things that contributed to him being good leader. Churchill’s honesty showed that he had strong morals and knew that being truthful would be the best way to lead his country and gain their respect. Winston Churchill also had the Quality of being decisive. He made clear decisions and once he made a decision he stuck to it no matter the response of others. He made decisions based on his gut instinct and didn’t wait for others to take charge of the situation. This is a good quality as it means decision making time is decreased and action can be taken quicker which is especially important due to the fast pace of war and political situations.
Some examples of his principles include that ‘Great Leaders learn from their failures’ There was many times where his career was falling apart and almost over. For example, in 1915 he was demoted and disgraced his wife feared that he would die of grief. However, he managed to redeem his self and come back from his failures. Instead of letting his career end due to his mistakes he reflected on them and learned from them which in turn resulted in him becoming a much more successful leader. This principle made him a good leader as it showed strength and dedication. It showed that he was able to improve on himself rather than dwell on the past. Another principle of Churchill was that great leaders know how to enjoy life. Churchill was dedicated, hardworking and productive and it is argued that this is down to his ability to relax.it was said that:
“Churchill’s great strength was his power of relaxation”
This principle made him an excellent leader as he knew what he had to do but he also understood that having a good balance between work and life made being dedicated and focused on his work much easier. This allowed him to be much more productive and this is essential for leadership as you will never be able to gain to attention or respect of other people if you are more focused or dedicated yourself.
Winston’s leadership style was seen to be a Transformational and Charismatic style. Transformational leaders usually inspire staff through effective communication and this is something Winston was extremely skilled at. Charismatic leaders usually lead with a positive attitude and with their personality. These styles allowed him to inspire his country which he did through his speeches and ability to be courageous and hopeful through one of the hardest times in Britain. One of his most well-known quotes is:
“Never, never, never give up”
He lead with such a clear vision which allowed him to persuade the public to put their trust in him which was extremely important as his style of leadership would not have worked if people did not trust in him enough to carry out his visons.
Churchill was a very skilled man. He was an excellent communicator and throughout his time as prime minister he was always a present, always making appearances and talking to the public. However, it was noted that he was not a natural orator but he understood the importance of communication and how big of a role it plays in being a successful leader so he worked on this skill.
Adolf Hitler is undoubtedly one of the most successful leaders in the world. However, many people mistake the fact that his morals where wrong and what he lead was wrong with the idea that this makes him a bad leader when in fact he had many Good Leadership Qualities. Much like Churchill Hitler was a Visionary. This quality of having a vision was very beneficial when it came to leading his country in the war as he was able to persuade his country to believe in him because he had such a clear vision of what he believed was right for his country. Having such a strong and clear vision helped him put a lot of effort into successfully leading the people of German. Another quality he possessed was of Integrity and authenticity however much this wouldn’t come to mind when we think of what he stood for but because he believed his vison is !00% correct to him he was authentic and his integrity was never broken.
Hitler lead by the Fuehrer Principle. In a public speech the principle was summarised as:
“Hitler is Germany and Germany is Hitler. Whatever he does is necessary. Whatever he does is successful. Clearly the Fuhrer has divine blessing”
The principle stated that everyone in the Nazi party had to accept that Hitler was always right and he had all the solutions to any problem. Even though this seems like an extremely bad leadership principle as it is very forceful and could cause people to become unmotivated and frustrated however it actually worked. The principle was instilled into the life of every Nazi and deemed to be very effective. He demanded control and respect. Every Nazi was brainwashed by Hitler and they believe that everything he was doing was right. Several Nazi leaders have even said that they believed “God has manifested himself not in Jesus Christ but in Adolf Hitler.”
Hitler was an Authoritative and Dictatorial leader. He set policies and procedures and had absolute control over his Nazi party. He made decisions with no input from anyone which linked in with his principles. This style is good as it allows decisions to be made quickly and decreases the chance of mistakes. However, this method can be demotivating as it is very domineering and the members of the party could have got frustrated as they aren’t allowed to have their say.
Hitler was a very skilled Communicator and became one of the world’s most influential orators. He was very passionate and had a way of persuading his country to believe in his extreme views. It was said that:
“He learned how to become a charismatic speaker, and people, for whatever reason, became enamored with him,’
He was extremely clever and knew how to play on the desperation of the country at the time and managed to gain the confidence of his country.
Overall, I believe that both Churchill and Hitler were both good leaders. They both show traits of a good leader and both managed to successfully lead their countries. However, Hitler had no morals whatsoever and the means on which he lead his party were not right at all. No one can deny that he was clearly an extremely talented leader.
In conclusion, an effective leader needs to have a variety of skills and has to have exceptional communication skills. They also need to have confidence in their abilities and be able to make decisions independently but it also equally important to be able to work and make decisions as a team. The most important thing about leadership is knowing why you are doing something. Steven Covey said “Leadership is the highest of the arts, simply because it enables all the other arts and professions to work”