Leadership Check — The Contrast Available

Christen Killick
6 min readMar 7, 2022

The last two years have presented a revolving carousel of world leaders who’ve been brought up close with change requiring unprecedented decisions. Making daily decisions to protect the lives of many must be gruelling, and considering the effect those decisions have had on us all, it’s been a period of public judgement on a world stage.

Whatever your feeling or belief about how that’s gone, the last two weeks have provided undeniable contrast that has roused a global response. In Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the world has found a leader worth examining who appears to stand out for all the right reasons.

I don’t claim to understand all the ins and outs, history and factors governing the current war with Ukraine. I am unsettled in my opinions about who is right and wrong and who could have done what when, but the fact remains that the world has had a predominantly positive and rather visceral response to the conduct and decisions of this 44-year-old leader. I feel there are a few nuggets in there worth asking ourselves about.

The world seems increasingly polarised; full of people willing to discount others by finding reasons to dismiss them rather than reasons to respect them enough to investigate their point of view. There are many reasons to dismiss Zelenskyy. He is young compared to many world leaders. He is a law scholar turned actor-comedian, elected president. He voiced the part of Paddington Bear when the Ukrainian version was recorded and won Ukraine’s version of Dancing With the Stars” in 2006.

There are also many reasons to consider why this unlikely candidate has the hearts of his people to the degree that he has inspired them to patriotism they’re betting their lives on. How patriotic do you feel? Patriotic enough to put your life on the line for it? What would you put your life on the line for? What would you physically stand and fight for? If you find yourself an answer to that question, consider what that thought inspires in you and ask yourself what kind of a leader inspires that same desire and resolution.

I have included some pictures here as they speak expansively where words are not enough, and because these pictures have motivated many to feel deeply things they have not found elsewhere for a long time. Let’s have a brief look at a few moments of leadership brought into focus over the past two weeks and ask ourselves what we can draw…

Christen Killick

Having flown as a Commercial Pilot for 18 years, I now use the communication and strategy skills that flight crews employ to elevate corporate business teams.