Beyond the Build

Management

Beyond Gallipoli

I am a member of a group that provides startup capital and mentoring to young entrepreneurs in our city. This week, I attended a presentation on the life of Winston Churchill that was sponsored by our group. As the past can give us some insight to the present, it was nice to see young entrepreneurs in the audience listening.

I have visited Churchill’s childhood home of Blenheim, but like most, I know him from the war years of 1940-45. We learned that he struggled with depression throughout his life, especially after the colossal loss of life and tragedy at the Battle of Gallipoli in Turkey, circa 1915. His failure there got him kicked out of the British Army, which led to deep depression. Seems he found solace during this time, and throughout his life, through painting, which he believed made him more creative and a more effective leader.

Winston Churchill’s successes during World War II were somewhat framed by many failures from the previous three decades. In his words, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

It was suggested that we build on Mr. Churchill’s thoughts, creating an environment that encourages intelligent failure, being flexible, but keeping our eyes on the route ahead. After all, failure can be, or is, a most essential step toward success.

{Image Source, a Painting by Churchill as seen in Vanity Fair}

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and President of the Stewart Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.