I have watched with interest as President Zelensky has emerged as such an inspiring leader in Ukraine. It is clear he is inspiring his fellow countrymen to stand their ground against Russian aggression. He is not doing this through fear he is doing it by standing with them and modelling the way forward. This is evidence of great leadership. In my conversations with leaders over the years many believe that crisis makes a leader in actually I believe the crisis reveals the leader.
Many leaders have stepped up and stepped into the situations they face, not knowing how things will turn out. There is an instinct to such moves which is born out of the character of the person. The truth is successful leaders are willing to step into the challenges of leading through influence, empowering those who they lead.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil rights leader and minister
I don’t think leadership at any time is easy, particularly in a crisis. What kind of leadership do you want to see?.
In research* carried out during the COVID pandemic the ADP Research Institute discovered the following about engagement and resilience, of particular note in thinking about great leadership:
- A worker is 14x more likely to be FULLY ENGAGED if he or she trusts the team leader
- Those lucky enough to completely trust their colleagues, team leader, and senior leaders, selecting 5 on a trust scale ranging from 1 to 5, were 42 times more likely to be highly resilient.
Great leaders leverage trust so that it creates an environment in which team members can thrive. You have probably discovered during the pandemic the limits of your energy as it leaks out through the myriad of changes in recent months. Great leaders recognise how important trust and well-being are, meaning that those they lead are not expending unnecessary energy on self-protection from colleagues in a toxic workplace environment.
What kind of leader are you?
All of us can improve. It takes courage to face up to those characteristics in you which are less than optimal in creating an empowering environment around you. However, as we see in Ukraine when leaders are willing to stay in the hard place, dig in and experience the same things as those they lead and stay in hope then something truly transformational happens.
When you think of great leaders who comes to mind? And why?
To get the best out of those we lead they need to be engaged and resilient. Trusted leadership makes this more likely. The people of Ukraine need this too and in President Zelensky they seem to have a leader they can trust.
“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; it’s choosing what’s right over what’s fun; fast; or easy; and it’s practising your values, not just professing them.” Brené Brown
To be a great leader is to choose the narrow more challenging way, it’s much easier with someone to do the journey with you. You can book a complimentary call here to see how.
* The ADP Research Institute (ADPRI) surveyed over 25,000 employees across the globe from 25 countries to understand Engagement, Workplace Resilience, and the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace in 2020.