Lessons in Leadership From History

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If you decide to earn a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) degree, then you will learn about different leadership styles. These leadership styles are diverse, and each of them has advantages and drawbacks. While you are cultivating your own leadership style, you can look to leaders in history for guidance. You will learn that good leaders ask good questions, look for skilled and capable people and stay focused on their goals.

Winston Churchill

Few would dispute the idea that Winston Churchill, Prime Minister (PM) of Britain during World War II, was an important leader in history. What made him stand out?

When the war broke out, Churchill was the First Lord of the Admiralty. He faced stiff resistance from Prime Minister Chamberlain and Lord Halifax, who wanted to negotiate a treaty with Germany. Churchill knew that surrender would be a grave mistake. He addressed Parliament with skilled and persuasive oratory, convincing them to continue fighting.

It is important to note that Churchill’s career was not always successful. During WWI, he made a grave tactical error—the invasion at Gallipoli—which led to tens of thousands of casualties for the Allies. Churchill was in disgrace. He resigned from the Admiralty, but rather than give up, he enlisted as a common soldier and fought at the front. Modern leaders can learn from Churchill’s “never say die” attitude.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela came to prominence as a South African anti-apartheid activist who later served as President in South Africa. Mandela fought for civil rights at great personal risk to himself, and his activism resulted in a long prison sentence. Mandela held true to his ideals and his vision for his country. Modern business leaders can learn from Mandela’s calculated risk-taking and his persistence in achieving his goals.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is another great leader who refused to give up on his vision for the future. He understood that slavery was morally wrong and fought strongly for civil rights reform while leading the Union during the Civil War. He also understood that the country would be stronger if it stayed united. Lincoln achieved his twin goals of ending slavery and preserving the Union.

Lincoln was known to be cool and collected, drawing on the resources of a skilled cabinet while focusing on his role as Commander in Chief. This delegation is an effective method for any leader, since leaders can scarcely afford to get caught up in small problems.

Mahatma Gandhi

When you look to great leaders in history, you will learn that they tend to lead by example. Gandhi is one leader who excelled at this. He embraced the values of civil disobedience through non-violent protest, which eventually resulted in India’s independence from British colonial rule. Indeed, Gandhi’s methods continue to inspire people around the world to this day.

You can explore different leadership styles in depth when you earn your MSOL degree at Grand Canyon University. The Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Entrepreneurship degree program is for online learners who wish to improve their understanding of leadership and business model development. To learn more about important minors for this program (Communication, Professional Writing),visit the College of Humanities and Social Sciences or click on the Request More Information button on this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.