Like you, I have been watching the daily unfolding of the horrors of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I have not been shocked by Vladimir Putin—I already knew what to expect and Putin delivered: a toxic, predatory mixture of machismo, paranoia, cruelty, and egomania. No surprises there.
But I was totally unprepared for the lessons of leadership and inspiration from his adversary, Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelensky. You have all seen his bravery, empathetic presence, measured and calm demeanor and an obvious, and loving, connection to Ukrainians. So, I will not write more about this as you have been watching the same reporting as I have. But let me leave this quote with you from President Zelensky’s 2019 inaugural address—what does it say to you about this man? Which traits of inspirational leadership does it suggest to you?
“I do not want my picture in your offices: the President is not an icon, an idol, or a portrait. Hang your kids’ photos instead and look at them each time you are making a decision.”