As fast as events have unfolded in Ukraine, global eyes have focused on President Zelenskyy as a leader who can be trusted, a leader who inspires. Around him, many anything-but-ordinary Ukrainians have stepped up into unprecedented leadership breaches, and have become heroes of our time.
What makes someone a trusted leader? What makes someone an inspiring leader?
Holding the image of President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine in prime focus – drawing on leadership research into what makes for a trusted leader:
1. Is visible and competent
2. Is reliable - consistently matching words and deeds
3. Is a relationship builder - showing care for others
4. Is other-centred in taking action - not self-interested
These same events have rendered President Zelenskyy and his team unequivocally inspiring, as a people of:
- Vision and Values: their right to national sovereignty, their values of life and autonomy
- Authenticity: taking personal responsibility for what they do and ask others to do
- Inclusion: engaging others, not for personal glory but for the survival of those they represent
- Resilience: maintaining hope in the face of unequal aggression
- Critical Thinking: exuding clear logic that defies the challenge they are experiencing
In the most intense heat of battle, through the events of the first seven days of the war in Ukraine, this is what we’ve seen in President Zelenskyy and his leadership team, members of the Ukrainian Parliament and the wider population.
What a lesson in leadership – even as we wish this lesson had never been initiated!
Cora Lynn Heimer Rathbone is a trusted business adviser, a strategy and leadership development expert, a certified executive coach, a Partner at Rathbone Results, a Cuban exile; Rathbone Results: 020 8798 0175; email@example.com.
Image copyright: Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP