The focus of this month’s blogs is Leadership. Leadership is one of the three areas of emphasis of The Fralix Group and has been for all of the twenty-nine years of the business. What is Leadership? The dictionary defines Leadership as “Influencing or Guiding Others.” My definition is somewhat stronger. I define Leadership as “Inspiring and Developing Others.” Hopefully, you can see the difference between “Influencing and Guiding” and “Inspiring and Developing.”
Leadership is being played out on the world stage in real-time with what is happening in Ukraine. One only needs to see what the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is doing to see Leadership in action. The people of Ukraine are also showing Leadership in action, fighting diligently to save their country from being taken over by Russia. Against all odds, the people of Ukraine and their leader are showing leadership in action. It remains to be seen if they will be successful. But success is not the gauge for leadership, action is. If all of the valiant efforts of Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine fail, they still will have exhibited leadership in action. Their courage inspires the world. Their leadership is positive. Unfortunately, all leadership is not positive.
Mike and I travelled to Russia in April of 2019, spending several days in Moscow. Mike was there on business, and his hosts invited me to accompany him, at their expense. It was a wonderful trip. I had wanted to see Russia since Dr. Zhivago, and I was thrilled to be there. We stayed at the Metropol Hotel, which is in the heart of Moscow, near Red Square. Our hosts were very gracious, showing us the best of their city. Having been a guest of Russians in their beautiful city, it is hard for me to fathom what is happening to Ukraine at the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin. I refuse to put our gracious hosts in the same category as Russian President Putin.
We can see from the example of Russian President Putin that all leadership is not positive. President Putin is certainly a leader, that point cannot be disputed. But Putin’s leadership is the dictator type, and his “inspiring and developing others” is negative in nature. While many people follow Putin because of fear, they still follow him and are doing his bidding in horrible ways. But hopefully only for a limited time. As U.S. President Joe Biden said in his State of the Union speech this week, “Freedom will always triumph over tyranny.”
We are not all called to a world stage as leaders. Leadership occurs in many places, many of them less lofty than a world stage. This does not make them any less important. The parent who inspires and develops a child, or doesn’t, has as great of an impact as a world leader.
Leadership occurs in many places. Some of these places are a world stage, such as Ukraine. Others are a home stage, such as the ones where many reading this live their values and inspire those looking on.
Prayers for Ukraine and its leaders, and the rest of the world as decisions are made about how involved other countries will be. Prayers for family leaders. Prayers for leaders everywhere.