Volodymyr Zelenskyy: Unveiling of an Unlikely Leader
By now you are aware of Ukrainian President Volodymyr
Zelenskyy. How did this public figure suddenly capture the world's attention in
a modern-day David vs. Goliath world stage scenario?
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." Ambrose Redmoon
Who is Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy? Mr. Zelenskyy was born to Jewish parents on January 25, 1978, in what was then known as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. His father was a professor and his mother an engineer. Mr. Zelenskyy earned a law degree, but never worked in the legal field. He married his bride Olena Kiyashko in 2003. Their first daughter, Oleksandra, was born in 2004, their son Kyrylo was born in 2013.
In his late teens, Mr. Zelenskyy joined a comedy competition that would catapult him into the world of entertainment as both a comedian and eventual actor until 2018 when he announced he would run for the President of Ukraine. On April 21, 2019, Mr. Zelenskyy was elected the 6th President in Ukraine's history.
I have always considered myself a lifetime student. This past week was an opportunity to learn about leadership from an impromptu event that shoved President Zelenskyy into a theatre of war. Though we are in the infant stages of this Russian invasion, President Zelenskyy's fearless leadership is undeniable.
Disclaimer: I do not author this article irreverently or flippantly. War is horrible and devasting. My prayers are constantly with President Zelenskyy, his parliament, and the Ukrainian people. Furthermore, this is not intended to be a political article. I merely author this article to honor this heroic leader and the lessons we can learn from him.
10 Quotable Leadership Lessons from President Zelenskyy:
1. He is humble:
"I do not want my picture in your offices. The President is not an icon, an idol, or a portrait. Hang your kid's photos instead and look at them each time you are making a decision."
2. He is courageous:
"We are here, we are not laying down any arms."
3. He is decisive:
"The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride."
4. He is resolved:
"Ukraine will not surrender."
5. He is loyal:
"I remain in the capital; I am staying with my people. My family is not a traitor, but a citizen of Ukraine."
6. He is an optimist:
"We will win!"
7. He is willing to sacrifice:
"This might be the last time you see me alive."
8. Retreat is not an option:
"Russians will see our faces, not our back."
9. He is fearless:
"We are defending Ukraine alone"
10. His sights are set on something greater than himself:
"We are all here, fighting for our country and its independence!"
We have all learned a great deal about leadership from this brave leader who looks his possible demise in the eye. You and I will likely never face any event in our lives such as the likes of President Zelenskyy and his people are enduring, but we can learn and apply their lessons to both our personal and business life.
Please keep Ukraine and its leaders in your prayers. If you would like to help in providing funds for humanitarian relief, I highly recommend Samaritan's Purse. They already have volunteers, essentials, and field hospitals set up on the border of Poland and Ukraine. If you would like to contribute, follow this link:
Samaritan's Purse International Disaster Relief - www.samaritanspurse.org
About the Author:
Tony Bianchi, the founder, and Principal of Way Recruiting Group, LLC, possesses nearly 25 years of recruiting experience across various sectors. He has worked in agency staffing, corporate talent acquisition, consultative niche recruiting, and retained executive search. With his focus on building relationships, creating trust, and providing value, Tony aims to foster long-term partnerships with clients. Tony is a Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR). Prior to recruiting, he provided vocational placement and job coaching services for people with disabilities in the community workforce for 15 years. Eventually, Tony became a certified vocational service provider for people with disabilities in the State of Illinois. For more information regarding Way Recruiting services, please visit: www.wayrecruiting.com