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Winston Churchill. Courage. Leadership.

by Susan Radojevic October 28, 2010

As the host of Corner Office, I often think about who I would interview if the sky was the limit. Needless to say, there are a number of innovative thinkers whose legacies have left a lasting impression on me. One of those great heroes is Winston Churchill (Prime Minister of England). I believe we could all learn from Churchill’s wisdom, as he was a revolutionary strategist and communicator of his time.

In addition to Churchill’s inspirational leadership, I am also passionate about meetings and events. Corner Office was created to show how leaders can strategically leverage their enterprise-wide meetings and events to achieve their vision and goals. The modern day business world may be vastly different than that of Churchill’s day however strategic business tools, such as meetings and events, have yet to be maximized by today’s corporate leaders. It blows me away that corporate leaders believe in the alignment of strategy and tactics in an effective and efficient way, yet surprisingly enough the use of meetings and events as a strategic business tool is still vastly underutilised.

The truth is meetings and events can be used to achieve so much more than their current perception as an outgrowth of the travel and hospitality industry, reporting up to procurement. Forbes Insights recently published a Case Study focused on unveiling the concealed value of face-to-face meetings in the eyes of corporate leadership. When aligned with an organization’s strategy and goals, enterprise-wide meetings and events have the power to become an invaluable leadership tool which can achieve wonders. For example, meetings and events present a platform for deeper engagement with teams, customers, clients and vendors resulting in more accurate and efficient decisions. Moreover, meetings and events encourage vision and strategy buy-in and accountability which results in effective and measurable performance.

What this means is leaders must challenge themselves to shift their communication styles away from traditional broadcast communication, as this classic corporate leadership approach is no longer producing the best return. Today’s employees want to actively participate and contribute to an organization’s success instead of simply being talked at from a stage. I cannot think of another business tool (like a meeting or event whether it’s virtual, face-to-face or hybrid) that enables leaders to tap into the wisdom found both inside and outside of their organization. Operating in an interactive environment which fosters the continued development of an organization’s intellectual capital is essential in order to remain competitive in today’s complex and changing environment.

In the words of Winston Churchill:

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”