During the Olympic broadcasts, Tom Brokaw gave a tremendous one-hour special program called, Their Finest Hour. It was about the people in England from June1940 – December 1941 when they withstood a nearly non-stop series of attacks from Hitler’s Nazi air force. I thought I knew about WWII, but until I watched that show I didn’t realize how intense those days were for the English.
Today’s world-wide business situation is obviously not comparable to that period in terms of the horrific conditions or the pure courage necessary to survive. However, I do believe business leaders around the world need to have their finest hour during this period of prolonged economic stagnation. Keep believing in the value of capitalism and free markets and meritocracy. Don’t give in to the temptation of giving up as you see government spending and debt rising year after year.
During WWII people all over the world fought for their freedom and many gave their lives because they believed in freedom. In our generation, we need to perform every day as though all of our freedom depends on our ability to create value, put it into an open market, and compete in a global economy. Is it a perfect system? Of course not. But it’s the best one we’ve got and we need to perform with as high a degree of precision and innovation and execution and teamwork as we can muster.
As Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never, never give up!”