The news of the war between Ukraine and Russia is difficult to process. Social media videos of people fleeing to bomb shelters and tanks rolling down streets are shocking for their imagery and their recency. Wars and invasions are something I mistakenly think of as part of history. Yet they haven’t stopped. From a global pandemic, to a war that represents the most significant aggression on the European continent since WWII, where do we go as leaders when the world seems crazy?
The best guidance I can offer is to go in the opposite direction. Step towards character, grace, and peace. Step away from cynicism, anger, and madness. There’s only one way the world has ever become better: One leader at a time.
When war rages on distant shores, it can seem as if it doesn’t concern us. It does. As people, we are way more connected than we are separate. Stay aware of what’s happening. Any effort to reshape global power structures will eventually impact us at home. When you stay aware, you develop an ability to connect dots, recognize misinformation, and form opinions on better courses of action.
Beyond awareness, reflect on what it would take to move beyond conflict. The same things that could move us past atrocities on the world stage are the very things that can bring value to the lives of the people we see every day. Care, kindness, acts of service, taking time to listen, steps that show respect and understanding – leadership is found in the small actions we demonstrate daily. How you lead on your team, for your family, and in your life can contribute to a better future.
The world is complex and often our understanding of it all feels so small. Rather than believing that the vastness of things beyond our control is a reason to check out, recognize that whenever we feel tiny in the face of anything, the more we focus on the little things, the more we walk along a path of value. Times that try us are the times to think, act, and serve. As you begin the week, commit to simple ways you’ll bring calm, stability, thoughtful perspective, and sincere support to those you care about. That’s the opposite of crazy. And it’s what many are craving right now.