What can we do together to make this our Finest Hour?
John F. Burns, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and 40 year correspondent for The New York Times wrote in 2010:

CAMBRIDGE, England – “Historians have called it one of the greatest speeches ever delivered in English, and surely one of the greatest ever delivered by an Englishman, at a moment of national peril unparalleled in modern times.

Seventy years ago (now eighty years ago), on June 18, 1940, Winston Churchill, barely six weeks in office as Britain’s prime minister and confronted with the threat of invasion from Nazi-occupied France, rose in the House of Commons and, in 36 minutes of soaring oratory, sought to rally his countrymen with what has gone down in history as his “finest hour” speech.

The speech ending with the words:

                                               Churchill’s ‘Their Finest Hour’ Speech ©The Churchill Archive

has resonated ever since. On both sides of the Atlantic and beyond, it has been hailed as the moment when Britain found the resolve to fight on after the fall of France, and ultimately, in alliance with American and Russian military might, to vanquish the German armies that had overrun most of Europe.”

Churchill led in an unprecedented time!  And the people of England responded in unprecedented ways!

Today – faced with the coronavirus pandemic we too live in unprecedented times! 

What must we do so that a thousand years from now men and women will say:

“This was their Finest Hour?”

What an opportunity for leaders to lead – for leaders to come alongside their family, staff, their clients/customers and even competitors to ask:

  • What can we do together to make this our Finest Hour?
  • What if we ___________?  (ask your family, staff clients/customers and competitors to fill in the blank)
  • How might we work together for the good of all?
  • What questions would you add?

We are already hearing incredible stories of Leaders – For profit companies – non-profits – individuals responding in unprecedented ways:

  • Of course all of our Front Line Health Care Workers
  • Childcare centers remaining open to take care of the children of our Front Line Health Care Workers
  • NBA players donating money to cover salaries of hourly workers amid suspended season
  • Internet providers offering free access to broadband and WiFi for new K-12 and college student households and schools
  • Grocery stores scheduling special hours for senior citizens
  • One alcohol distiller is switching over to make hospital grade disinfectant and will provide it for free
  • People getting groceries for their elderly neighbors
  • Unprecedented cooperation by Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, Roche Diagnostics and other companies to make the coronavirus test and results available for all who need them
  • Zoom donating its on-line meeting capabilities to schools everywhere

Here is story that I heard that touched my heart:  A woman walking into a grocery store heard some one calling out “Hey Miss – Hey Miss – Hey Miss.”  She turned around and spotted an elderly woman and her husband in their car.  She walked over to see what they might need.  They asked her if she would be willing to do their grocery shopping for them.  Of course she immediately said “YES!”  They handed her a $100 bill and their grocery list.  She soon returned with their groceries and their change!  Does this sound “Heroic?”  Probably not to the woman who was happy to help – but to the elderly couple – she was indeed a hero!

What stories have you heard?  Please share them in the “comment section” below to inspire us all!

May this indeed be your Finest Hour!

Bob Tiede

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bob has been on the staff of Cru for 49 years. He currently serves on the U.S. Leadership Development Team and is passionate about seeing leaders grow and multiply their effectiveness. Bob and his wife, Sherry, live in Plano, TX and are blessed with 4 incredible children and 7 remarkable grandchildren.

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