Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back From the Brink | Anthony McCarten

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2018: Book #16

It’s often been said that the book is better than the movie. That’s true again in the case of “Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back From the Brink” by Anthony McCarten. It’s the true story behind the recent movie “The Darkest Hour.”

I’m a Churchill fan; I love the guy. This book only endeared him more.

This is a GREAT read! McCarten is very masterful at making history read like a story.

How did this book help me as a leader?

1. Leaders must believe. Churchill believed England could defeat Hitler. There were times when it seemed he was the only one who believed. Even if he stood alone, Churchill believed. He took that belief and rallied a nation to fight Nazism. Leaders must be willing to make their case, stand alone, and rally the troops. Even if in dire circumstances, leaders must show a path forward. Leaders must believe.

2. Leaders are flawed. Churchill was an alcoholic. He also suffered from depression—Odd…Lincoln suffered from depression as well…great leaders and their melancholy. Churchill also bungled the British Navy. Here’s the lesson: Don’t think you have to be perfect to be a leader. Give yourself some space to be human. Be comfortable in your imperfections. Learn from your mistakes. Be a better leader today because yesterday happened. Release yourself from the standard of getting everything right. Leaders aren’t perfect, they just learn from the things they mess up.

3. Leaders listen to opposing views. Churchill had a million critics. Most leaders do. Listen to the viewpoints of opposing voices and see if you can glean any wisdom. Make sure there’s not some answer or path you’re missing. Be open to having your argument torn apart. Allow others to speak truth to power. You need smart people helping you see all sides. They protect you from tunnel vision. Listen to opposing views.

Great book…really, really great book.

5 out of 5 stars.

That’s book #16 for 2018.
36 more to go.

Remember, all leaders are readers.
If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.
#52in2018

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