The “Fortunate Accident” During the Battle of Britain (WWII)

by Wiz

in Lessons,Podcasts

Without a doubt, one of the “shining moments” in Great Britain’s long and distinguished history was the performance of her Royal Air Force in 1940.  For at the Battle of Britain, a battered and bruised RAF was able to do what no other military force had been able to do – stop Adolf Hitler’s “blitzkrieg”, the “lightning war,” and prevent the planned invasion of Britain.  It was the RAF pilots’ performance that inspired Prime Minister Churchill’s famous remark, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.  All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day.”


Yet the RAF pilots would tell you that they were helped tremendously by technology (radar) and a “fortunate accident” which led to a strategic miscalculation by Hitler and Goering.  It’s a lesson in leadership that can still be applied today. (8:34)



{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Siebold October 17, 2007 at 8:51 pm

Commander Withers,

Thanks for this great military history lesson. I really enjoyed hearing your comments and personal experiences, such as flying over water at night.

To comment on your question at the end, ” Is what I’m doing getting me to where I want to go?”, I would say I’m working on it! Sometimes my actions are on target and other times I miss the mark. I think you’re right, though, it’s something to think about on a daily basis.

Thanks for doing this great blog. I look forward to being part of this community!

Steve Siebold


Wiz October 17, 2007 at 10:23 pm


In my own experience, I’ve found that a series of little decisions has a cumulative effect – which can take me off target so subtly that I don’t see it happening in “real time.” I’ve found that the more often I ask myself that question, the quicker I can course-correct. The discipline is in being objective – and THAT’s a subject for another post!

Thanks for your kind words, and especially for your contributions. Welcome to “the squadron”!



Karen Zapp October 17, 2007 at 11:21 pm


I really enjoyed the story from military history. Being a veteran myself I naturally keyed in on this as well as your blog. Excellent point you make at the end with your question!

I’m now going to set some periodic reminders in Outlook to ask myself, “Are the things I’m doing getting me to where I want to go?”

For example: Am I doing what needs to be done to expand my business as I have forecasted? To get repeat business from clients and to build stronger client relationships? I could go on and on. Thanks for the reminder. Look forward to more leadership lessons!


Wiz October 17, 2007 at 11:35 pm


Welcome to “the squadron”! Your automated reminder system is an excellent idea – I’m going to implement that myself!

Thanks for your contributions – looking forward to hearing more from you!



Bryan Rachlin October 22, 2007 at 2:18 pm


I found the lesson interesting and thought provoking. I think in order to get to where we want to be, we need to apply consistent and persistent action. These actions, as you point out, need to be reviewed regularly in order to stay on course. Thanks for that reminder.

Bryan Rachlin


Wiz October 25, 2007 at 11:57 pm


Thanks for the feedback, and for being part of the community. I really appreciate your perspective.



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