The Pinnacle of Leadership reveals itself in War!

Michael de Groot - Blog
6 min readMay 10, 2022

In my lifetime I have only been impressed with leadership a few times. The 1st time was in my first job in London and he was my second boss in that company. I’ve never forgotten him, he shaped my confidence in work. I’ve had many bosses in my employment career, which lasted 28 years and I can confidently confirm they were all a major disappointment to me, I’m sorry to say!

As I have grown older, I start to notice world leaders and let’s be frank, I don’t know about you but I haven’t seen or witnessed many impressive world leaders. Now I’m more politically aware, so I subconsciously compare world leaders and politicians to one and other, I also automatically compare them against my own values without even knowing that I’m doing it and of course I judge them.

The 2nd time, many years later I was and continue to be impressed by Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister.

And now I am pleased to report that my 3rd leader of choice is the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Let’s just have a look at what makes him such a great leader.

Firstly, his communication skills. He’s such a great speaker and has recorded at least one video (many days more) every single day since the war began on the 24th February. All of these videos are available on his Telegram channel and they are posted with English subtitles a few hours after they have posted the original in Ukrainian. He has also spoken to countless governments, addressing parliaments, nation meet-ups, like G7 and many more. He just speaks from the heart with passion and clarity. He doesn’t beat about the bush, gets straight to the point and the world has indeed been listening.

He was offered exile by many international world leaders and he refused all of them, citing that he wasn’t scared, wanted to protect his nation and the nation’s inhabitants. Many experts predicted that Russia would conquer Ukraine in just a few short days, at worst a couple of weeks. Neither has happened.

The whole world has rallied around him, yes some of the world leaders have taken their time and some are still in denial and of course a few won’t publicly condemn the war, like India (that one shocked me — my mother is from India), but the majority are on his side. All of this thanks to his determination and unwavering pressure on western nations to supply weapons and impose sanctions on Russia. I’m not suggesting everyone’s listening, but a whole bunch of them are.

All of us (well, most anyway) are super impressed with his leadership style and his ability to rally the troops, civilians, international volunteers and many others behind the Ukrainian cause. It’s truly breathtaking. His confidence that Ukraine will be free from any Russian control is solid and never in doubt.

If only The West could do more without being in fear of Putin.

The following text is directly from a video he released on 26 February 2022. This was 2 days after the war started and the first video that they added English subtitles to. The first two videos didn’t, of course they were intended for Ukrainians and not for the rest of the world, but that all changed of course. The videos are of course completely destined for everyone in the world.

Why is it important to read this text? The speech, one of many, shows that very early on in this war, Zelenskyy told all of us that he would never give up to free his country. It also shows that very early on he was rallying the world behind the cause and succeeded. It’s very difficult to ignore him and even hard to not support him and the Ukrainian people. It’s very tough to watch the news feeds, to learn about all the atrocities that the Russian army is inflicting on ordinary people, but we have to listen and we have to watch. Russia will NEVER EVER be forgiven for what they have done and continue to do, generations will remember and learn about in text books and classrooms all over the world.

When I was a young boy at school in Amsterdam, the teachers had created a display at the back of the classroom, with photos of World War II and the innocent people in concentration camps. The pictures of starving and dying people and their eyes staring directly at me will always stay with me. The teachers wanted us kids to never forget what the German Nazis had done to the people of The Netherlands. My father who was a teenager during that War and the only son, hid in an attic for 5 years so as not to get conscripted by the German army, which occupied the country.


“Ukraine’s readiness to defend its state, our solidarity with each other and courage have disrupted the scenario of occupation of our country. The world has seen — Ukrainians are strong, Ukrainians are powerful, Ukrainians are brave. So it is not surprising that such people always have friends more powerful than enemies. During the day I spoke every hour with the leaders of states, friends of Ukraine.

An extraordinary result was reached in relations with Italy. This is truly a new chapter for our states. The conversation with Prime Minister of the Italian Republic Mario Draghi our everything in its place. India is a traditional world power. Discussed with Prime Minster Modi the course of our repulse of the aggressor. Received full support. Thanked my and our friend Erdogan for the unwavering support to our independence and territorial integrity. We agreed that today the ban on the passage of Russian warships in the Black Sea is extremely important. They did it.

I told a good friend of Ukraine, Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan that our country lacks oil and oil products. Everything is not easy but now everything will be provided. By the way Ilham and President Erdogan offered to organise talks with Russia. This can only be commended. And also the President of Switzerland, the Prime Minster of Greece, Prime Minister of The Netherlands Rutte…

It seems that Ukraine has gained the sincerity and attention of the normal civilised world. What is the practical result? Here it is — SWIFT. There is so much sense in this word for the Russian Federation! Disconnection from global financial civilisation. Our diplomats fought around the clock and with inspiration for all European countries to agree on a strong and fair decision to disconnect Russia from the international bank network.

We also gained this victory.

This is billions and billions of losses for Russia — a concrete price for this vile invasion of our state.

We always said: the truth is on our side. This means even the greatest achievements are possible.

Today I spoke with the leaders of churches and religious communities of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epiphanius, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine; Metropolitan Onufriy, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church; Sheikh Tamim, Supreme Mufti of Ukraine; Yaakov Bleich, Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine and his holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church. All leaders pray for our defenders, for the souls of our heroes who gave their lives for our Ukraine and for our unity and our victory.

And this is very important.

You know, today was a very good day, sunny day in Kyiv. The day that the invaders tried to destroy for us like everything else in the country. But today is also the first day of the life of a girl who was born in the Kyiv subway this Saturday night. Now it’s a shelter. We give a decent rebuff — I’m sure you see it in the news.

I want to say just one more thing. We will fight as long as it takes to liberate the country. If children are born in shelters, even when the shelling continues, then the enemy has no chance in this undoubtedly People’s War.

To Victory!

Glory to Ukraine!”

~ Michael —

Originally published at on May 10, 2022.