Leadership and Volodymyr Zelenskyy; and Our Racehorse
Back in November 1996 (yes, a long time ago!), I had an article published in Executive Excellence. I’m not sure if it’s around anymore, but I was thrilled to be in a magazine that featured Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and other highly respected individuals.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s powerful and successful leadership of the Ukrainian people, and his ability to command the respect of millions of people around the world, drove me to dig out my article ‘Motivational Leadership’ to see if I got it right.
The opening segment that the editor pulled out as a highlight, states: “To have hope for the future, we need leaders who avoid self-serving political games and look after the needs of people”. My guess is that Zelenskyy would agree with this.
I cite leadership qualities that I think are critical, including honesty and integrity, perception and listening. The article also states that the leader must assume responsibility and make decisions (I know, some of this seems obvious, but I can assure you I’ve come in contact with some very indecisive managers!).
Zelenskyy had the opportunity to listen to Ukrainians as he travelled around Ukraine as an entertainer. He recognized Ukrainians’ commitment to a national identity and their desire for democracy and freedom. He stood for President.
The article also states that the leader must demonstrate personal commitment and caring. “The leader must care deeply about the product or service being delivered, and care deeply about the employees.” In this context, Zelenskyy cares about Ukraine and cares deeply about the Ukrainian people.
The last point I make is that the successful leader must be dedicated to the ‘success of the whole’. “For a leader to have this dedication, he or she must have a ‘vision’ and believe in its potential. The pursuit of this vision is the driving force.”
Zelenskyy’s vision is of a free Ukraine with the aggressors banished out of the country. At first, we thought this wasn’t possible. Now, we’re all cheering for Ukraine and doing what we can to help because it doesn’t seem quite so impossible! Zelenskyy has inspired the world with his passion and his vision.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy has many more qualities that my article does not touch on, including excellent communication skills and courage.
I admire his strength, his determination and his unwavering commitment to Ukraine.
This short piece does not do him justice.
This is a picture of Chase (racing name I'm Dashing) as a foal with his mother, I'm a Kittyhawk, almost four years ago. Now officially a four-year-old, he has nearly finished his preliminary training and is off to the Woodbine Racetrack to start his serious training this coming week-end.
At the time this photo was taken, I wrote a short piece about him. This was written as my ten minute on-the-spot writing challenge at an Uxbridge Writers' Circle meeting:
We watch as the foal kicks up his heels, bucks and then canters around the patchy green field, almost colliding with his mother. She ignores his display, making the best of her time outside to graze, seeking out the blades of grass from in between a myriad of weeds.
The two-month-old colt takes a nip out of the man repairing the fence. As he does, he shows off the scrape he gave himself as he pranced by the loose oak plank.
The man pats him on the rump and tells him to get away.
The colt's answer is to rear and then tear to the other side of the paddock to stick his muzzle onto my husband's phone as he attempts to capture the antics of the new member of the family.
Our grandsons have named him Chase and we can already imagine him tearing out of the starting gate and crossing the finishing line.
With each new arrival there is excitement and optimism. Breeding, raising and racing thoroughbreds is fraught with setbacks and liberally scattered with disappointments, and we've had our share.
But for the moment, we're wallowing in the pleasure of watching Chaise enjoying life.
Every buck and every dash brings smiles and makes everything seem worthwhile.
Note: Chase won two races in 2021 and we're very proud of him! We're looking forward to the 2022 racing season!
Vicky Earle copyright 2022