Leadership Quotes for Leaders by Leaders: Jay Galbraith

By Jay Galbraith, Vice President, Public Affairs and Marketing

Never, Never, Never Give Up.

— Paraphrased from a speech that Sir Winston Churchill gave at Harrow School, his alma mater, in 1941

For some people, work and leadership come easily. We all know folks who can effortlessly lead meetings, make presentations and command everyone’s attention when they walk into a room.

Well, that is not me. For me, leadership is a hard journey. But leadership is not just about work.

I think about leadership in relationships, as this year my wife and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary — and you know that for a lawyer (my wife) and a public affairs person to be married ain’t easy.

Leadership also extends to your kids. There is no owner’s manual for raising children, and, as the parent of four kids, I have discovered it is the best and most difficult assignment I will ever have.

And, of course, leadership also plays a role in our work lives. I am fortunate to have had the privilege of working around some of our nation’s best leaders in government, military, business and academia.

As an amateur historian, I have always found Winston Churchill’s leadership of England remarkable. He was on the backside of his career when he was named prime minister — and when he took the office, the odds of England surviving were slim, even if the United States entered the war. But his resilience, his belief in humanity and his belief in good triumphing over evil prevailed.

My wife knows I am a huge Churchill fan. So, during a trying period at work years ago, I came home and admitted that I was going to fail at accomplishing a very important work project in the coming weeks. She listened, and the next day she gave me a plaque bearing these words: “Never, Never, Never Give Up.” The project got done and, to be honest, my wife’s belief in me made the difference. And, knowing that if Churchill could state this in the early stages of World War II, despite perilous odds, I felt confident that I could overcome whatever struggle I might face.

And it’s a similar spirit that attracted me to join the College on staff. I’m proud to be part of a culture where we believe that every person can learn — and we don’t give up on them.

Thank you for letting me be a part of the journey of this College, which never, never, never gives up!

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