Class 2, Week 8, Peer Response 2
President Vladimir Putin is a leader that has been in power for a long time, a period that can easily be compared to that of dictators in other countries and especially, those in African countries as has been previously depicted. Putin can be considered to be a strategic leader by some (mostly his fellow countrymen) while others view him differently and in a negative light. In this regard, I agree with the author since not even a strategic leader can ever be considered as perfect due to the various strengths and weaknesses that they possess. Vladimir Putin is no different. The Russian president is known for both positive impacts in his country as the leader while his negative impacts are viewed elsewhere around the world. Even in his negative view, he still has a large following for the good he has brought to Russia, especially after the disengagement with the Soviet Union.
As far as strategic leadership competencies go, Vladimir Putin possesses them all as the author points out. As a conceptual leader, Putin has been able to thrive. When he took over presidency in Russia, he was able to bring changes to the country, given the situation that Russia was in following the Soviet Union leadership. As a result of his conceptual leadership, he was able to bring “radical revolution in values, beliefs, and behaviors through the transitional 1990s and early 2000s” (Grachev & Bobina, 2006). This could be seen through the adjustment of the financial state of the country from the depression to a more dependable state of the economy. He was able to bring change where Russia had been suffering through. He can further be described as a dauntless leader, one who is unafraid of risk-taking (Immelman & Trenzeluk, 2017). This covers the interpersonal competencies. He is of a daring personality, one that works for and against him.
As much as risk-taking works in his favor as the Russian leader, he is also considered to be assertive and controlling. These two work against him in the global realm. It is easy to point out that Putin lacks reciprocity, sentimentality, and is intimidating. With such a personality, he creates more enemies than friends in other leaders, which makes it difficult for him to work with others. On technical competencies, Putin is considered to have both a dissenting and retiring personality. This means that he has weak ties with others which means that he considers not the feelings of others as well as he lives by his “own internal code” with little or no regard for the effects that his decisions have on others (Immelman & Trenzeluk, 2017). On this note, I agree with the author regarding Putin excluding other people in his decision making process as a leader or completely disregarding the thoughts of others in decision making.
Putin has had many successes in Russia and this is the reason why people in Russian are fond of him and his leadership as the author points out. On top of bringing Russia from the economic depression in the 90s into economic prosperity, he has been able to ensure success in agricultural product exportation that has reflected positively on Russia. To add on to the author’s identification of economic and regulatory successes of Putin, it is also important to note that Russia has become industrially modernized under the leadership Vladimir Putin. Further still, his leadership has resulted in a military that stands out and in a much stronger manner, with Russia taking on the world in a more influential manner (Isachenkov, 2019). His controversies and stubborn nature has made it possible for the successes that Russia has known to be possible as he refuses to see his people drag behind while the rest of the world makes strides.
As much as Putin has been considered to be a strategic leader, it goes without saying that he is also a man with a negative side; a side that is intimidating and offensive to many, as the author identifies. An example is that of Putin’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Putin has shown an “absence of decisive central leadership” contrary to the kind of leadership he shows in other cases (Baunov, 2020). I would agree with the author’s remarks of Putin lacking charge (similar to all other cases) of a pandemic that cannot be so easily controlled. His intimidating power is lacking here, leading to his popularity vote declining (Liik, 2020). He is known for intimidation in the treason definition expansion, intimidating champions of human rights, artist persecution, NGO restriction, and putting prominent people behind bars (Amnesty International, n.d.). This scares a lot of people, including the Russian people. The 2007 polls saw a lot of intimidation against workers to vote for Putin (Parfitt & Harding, 2007). He has, in essence, taken the Russian people back to the Soviet Union days when intimidation was the way to go, thus eliminating any change in this regard. I completely agree with the author in this regard. He, therefore, has a balance of positive and negative traits for a strategic leader.
Amnesty International. (N.D.). 6 of President Vladimir Putin’s most oppressive laws. Amnesty International. https://www.amnestyusa.org/6-of-president-vladimir-putins-most-oppressive-laws/Baunov, A. (2020, May 27). Where Is Russia’s Strongman in the Coronavirus Crisis? Foreign Affairs. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russian-federation/2020-05-27/where-russias-strongman-coronavirus-crisisGrachev, M. V., & Bobina, M. A. (2006). Russian organizational leadership: Lessons from the GLOBE study. International Journal of leadership studies, 1(2), 67-79.
Immelman, A., & Trenzeluk, J. V. (2017). The Political Personality of Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.Isachenkov, V. (2019, Dec 30). Putin boasts achievements, weighs options as he marks two decades in power. Global News. https://globalnews.ca/news/6347804/vladimir-putin-20-years-in-power/Liik, K. (2020, May 13). Coronavirus: Not Putin’s kind of crisis. European Council on Foreign Relations. https://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_coronavirus_not_putins_kind_of_crisisParfitt, T. & Harding, L. (2007, Dec 3). Intimidation and dirty tricks help Putin to massive landslide. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/dec/03/russia.topstories3