Canadian Rental Service

At Your Service: A time for leadership – Part II

By Russ Dantu   

Features Business Intelligence expert advice leaders opinion

When we look at Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and the incredibly horrible and difficult situation his country is in right now, we see a leader that is showing how to be a leader when the going gets tough. And, let’s face it, everything Ukraine is facing right now is way more intense than what we face on a daily basis in our work lives.

In last month’s column, I gave you 10 top attributes of a great leader. This column will share four more attributes of being a great leader based on what I have seen from the Ukrainian President. He actually exemplifies what a great leader is with many different attributes but these four add nicely to the list in last month’s column.

1) Is a good communicator – Effective communication is essential in every aspect of our lives. Clear, concise and consistent communication means people understand what is expected of them and fewer mistakes will happen. In war, communication with your team and the world is critical in order to survive. President Zelenskyy gets an A on this for how he has communicated with the world what is happening on a daily basis to his country.

2) Remains calm during storms –This was one of my pitfalls as a leader. I know it and still struggle with it from time to time. It is easy to go into panic mode, run around like a chicken with its head cut off, get everyone worked up into a dither and add extra stress. Storms will always happen.


Take a deep breath, analyze the situation and decide the best course of action. Ask for help when you need it. This will help you weather the storm. Always play to your strengths and if some of your staff are stronger at remaining calm, get them involved and learn from them. President Zelenskyy has remained surprisingly calm as he leads his country through this war. During extremely stressful times, people look to their leader to see how they will handle it. We can all learn a lot from the Ukrainian
president here.

3) Knows their team – They understand the strengths and weaknesses of each player. When assembling the right people for a certain project, knowing each employee will make this task so much easier. Sometimes, certain people in your team do not click well with others. By knowing your team, a good leader will not make them work together on projects if it is going to result in conflict. President Zelenskyy is badly out-manned by the Russians but knows the capabilities of his fellow countrymen. He cannot be in every city at the same time so has different team players leading the charge where he cannot do so himself. He has the best of the best leading each city to give them the best chance of success.

4) Thanks people regularly – I recently saw that president Zelenskyy was out in the streets amongst his soldiers and in the hospitals where injured soldiers laid. He was thanking them for their service and continued commitment to their country. He has the largest target on his back and could easily be hunkered down somewhere much safer but he chooses to be out there with his people, inspiring them by doing so.

Being a great leader is not easy, but it can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your life. President Zelenskyy has not only inspired the people of Ukraine but many people around the world with his incredible leadership skills. I hope the world rallies around him even more than they have to stop the atrocities that Vladimir Putin has inflicted on Ukraine. He truly has earned the admiration on many of us around the world. I hope this continues for many years to come. 

Russ Dantu is a 30-year veteran of the rental industry and has been delivering workshops, seminars and keynotes on customer service for over 15 years. Visit

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