Has there ever been a leader who was the equal of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky?
Chances are that there have been leaders as great as he is. Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, and a handful of others come to mind. But somehow Zelensky seems different. Is that because we don’t watch Churchill, Lincoln and other great historical leaders on television?
We see Zelensky every day, and what we see, every day, tells us over and over again that he is an extraordinary leader.
What Makes Zelensky Such a Great Leader?
It has often been said that leaders are ordinary people who are put in circumstances that require them to do extraordinary things. Is that true of Volodymyr Zelensky?
We don’t know for sure. Perhaps we will need to wait years and years, until we are able to look at what he has done from the perspective of history. But however we will come to appreciate his achievements in the future, we can already understand some of the extraordinary leadership principles he is using to inspire and lead the people of his country.
He Is Willing to Die for His People and His Country
Few people are required to put their lives on the line for the people they lead and love. Yet Zelensky is. He has said to the Russian invaders, “Here I am, you know where to find me, you can come kill me.”
He Doesn’t Ask People to Do Things He Won’t Do
He goes into the street to see the citizens of Ukraine and helps carry their burdens and literally walks with them.
He Has Reinvented Himself to Confront Great Challenges
Did you know that Zelensky was an actor and a comedian before he entered politics? If you watch him star in the Ukrainian television show “Servant of the People,” available streaming, you will discover that he is actually a very accomplished comedian. But he is not a comedian now. He is the real deal – a world leader of the kind we have not seen in some time.
He Has Transcended Divisions
Volodymyr Zelensky is of Jewish heritage. Only about 0.3% of Ukrainians are Jewish, and about 70% are Ukrainian Orthodox Christians. Yet did he say, “I cannot lead the people of my country, I am in a minority?” No. He saw his nation’s need and he met it courageously and selflessly, without hesitation.
So, Are Leaders Ordinary People Who Do Extraordinary Things?
It could be. But by any definition or standards, Volodymyr Zelensky is an extraordinary leader. We can only aspire to his kind of leadership. And we pray that God will watch over him and protect him in the perilous days ahead. May God protect his family and the people of Ukraine too.