HE IS BY FAR the most famous enigmatic leader who is gaining respect throughout the world. The exception being those who dare to consider themselves to be his enemy. You will never be empowered by him as things are done his way without question or hesitation. You follow him not because he is a dictator as he is not, but you follow him because behind those cold steely blue eyes lays a leader who brushes off problems as one would a fly that lands on your shoulder. His leadership though not without detractors is based on his success of making unwavering decisions that come what may will always have his “stamp” on them.
A cunning controversial figure who come what may will keep his country’s finances above water despite crippling sanctions that would bring other nations to their knees. This leader is Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin who served as Russia’s President since May 2012. He also served as the President of Russia from 2000-2008 after serving as Prime Minister from 1999-2000 and again from 2008-2012. Prior to entering politics Vladimir Putin served in the KGB for 16 years where he quickly rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
This man should not be mistaken for a hero nor overly deserving of praise. He is a cold calculated leader who fears little with no lack of enemies nor possessing an abundance of compassion. The well-choreographed scenes where his barreled chest is on full display when he is horseback riding to reinforce his image as mega-macho man who is not somebody to get into fisticuffs with. His horses strides with confidence that the man with the reign is his leader.
As our President sits idly by as Isis tightens its grip on parts of the Middle East while continuing to march towards the United States, Vladimir Putin laughed off their threats of taking over Russia and without hesitation declared war on the extremist group with success almost a given. No meetings, no bogged down political houses who would have difficulty coming to an agreement on what colors walls should be painted, no inspiring speeches or impassioned pleas for unity will he ever utter. When the situation calls for actions he will do so.
Vladimir Putin is an enigmatic leader to the 100th degree! You never know what he will do next but you do know to expect him to do the unexpected. Leaders need to show their followers they can lead them to the “promised land” but in a steadier more consistent manner. What then can be said about a leader whose chief rival is US President Obama whose indecisiveness in crucial times has us now practically begging for a Vladimir Putin prototype to lead us. We have come to revere a man whose actions have infuriated us in the past (his military aircraft “buzzing” just off the coast of California causing our Air Force to “chauffeur” them out of restricted air space) taunting us as children would do to other children. A leader whom we would reject time and again.
On October 12th, 2015 a Russian Passenger jet went down over Egypt’s Sinai Desert killing all 224 passengers. The only lingering question waiting for the answer that we already know is that as it now appears a bomb planted by militant extremists was the cause of the crash becomes a confirmed fact when he will spring his forces into action? Will he attack on the ground through the air or both? How far will he go to exact revenge? A leader must “go to bat” for his people.
While taking a cautious wait and see approach there is little doubt plans for unyielding retaliation are already in the works. While here in America we begin to feel the fears of the possibility this can happen here we are also left to wonder do we have a leader who can deal with a crises of this magnitude in manner that will reassure Americans we are safe while punishing those responsible (i.e George W. Bush)?
A leader must show he is in control of the situation. He assesses what has or is happening and acts accordingly. As panic, chaos and confusion become the chief pilots in the cockpits of our psyche’s engaging in opinion seeking dialogue with your followers will give people the impression your leadership skills have the backbone of a dandelion blown off its stem. In times of regular ebbs and flows a talented leader can empower people to the point where all attentiveness is paid toward achieving the greater good. Despite these warm and fuzzy feelings a shadow of doubt lingers as to if everybody is empowered with nobody left behind do we really have a leader (if we need one) or do we have somebody who wants us to think for ourselves as decision-making is not his strongpoint.
Vladimir Putin is unquestionably becoming the leader we want (as do other nations) but don’t want but think we need. He presents a dilemma not only for Washington but for leaders in every corner. What can we learn from him? Is his style of leadership one we should emulate? If we answer in the affirmative is this method pragmatic. Is it possible to teach or develop leaders who are cut from this cloth?
In the blink of an eye this enigmatic leader whose name is not synonymous with championing causes such as gay rights sits down to have an open dialogue with an openly gay singer about this subject. He will aid those who are murders in their own right while at the same time vowing to help protect the only democratic nation in the middle east. Does the leader of the future need to adopt the mantra of being an enigma?
Religious persecution under previous Russian Regimes was common place. Vladimir Putin (I have friends in my community who hail from various parts of Russia who have attested to this) once again every the enigma has created an atmosphere where people no longer have to practice their religion “undercover” in fear of being arrested, imprisoned under excruciatingly harsh conditions or committed to a Mental Hospital.
Whatever your feelings are towards Vladimir Putin you cannot deny he has an uncanny knack to galvanize people wherever he goes or whatever he does. While in firm control of the Russia’s Media he has “pictures” of himself put on display for people everywhere to see. Lacking that power to control the media outside of Russia he can still use the foreign press as his marionettes.
Perhaps there are lessons leaders from various sectors in our country can learn from Vladimir Putin.