Sir Winston Churchill’s speeches throughout the Second World War were littered with inspirational aphorisms that are still quoted today.

As an industry that can sometimes feel like a battlefield of policy and procedure, it’s not surprising that many of these maxims can be applied to the sub-groups of HR.

Here’s our list of the former prime minister’s greatest quotes that could have been about our everyday responsibilities:


1) “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”

2) “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”


3) “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

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

Employment law

5) “You have enemies? That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

6) “When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.”

7) “If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.”


8) “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

9) “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”

10) “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”


11) “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

12) “To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.”


13) “Socialists think profits are a vice; I consider losses the real vice.”


14) “We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give.”

15) “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”