We are already seeing a direct impact on the world of business due to the current events in Eastern Europe. As a business leader, are you prepared for that? How can you effectively respond to those disruptions and changes?
Many international companies are already experiencing setbacks. Russia has also moved to ban money transfers outside of the country and conversion into dollars and euros. Many companies such as BASF, BP, and ExxonMobil either depend heavily on Russia’s oil supply or have a significant number of employees in the country. McDonald’s and Mondelez are two other companies that have a significant presence in the country. These are just a handful of examples of international companies that are experiencing the inevitable impacts.
Global stocks have also dropped significantly since the last week of February. European, Asian, and US stocks all started to see an impact at the end of February. The Russian ruble fell 10% to a record low of 90 against the US dollar. Experts are reporting that global inflation will continue to rise due to the conflict.
How can you lead boldly when there are significant external factors at play?
Let’s take some examples of leadership from what we have recently observed.
Take a stand: Everyday citizens in Ukraine are choosing to defend their homes by any means necessary. While many people are appropriately leaving the country, some people are attempting to travel back into the country to lend a hand. Tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky chose to return to Ukraine to join the army reservists that are defending the capital Kyiv. In addition, Russian citizens and residents are taking a stand by protesting in cities across the country.
Bold leadership: President Zelensky has created a communications strategy that has quickly spread through social media. His speech to the European Union on March 1st received a standing ovation. Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina won the Monterrey Open in Mexico on Tuesday, March 1st, and donated all of her winnings to the Ukrainian army. After previously claiming she would not play, she wrote, “I do not blame any of the Russian athletes. I am on a mission for my country.”
Make bold requests: The Ukrainian president requested fast-track membership into the European Union. In a video shared on social media, he shared, “Our goal is to be with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be equal. I’m sure that’s fair. I’m sure we deserve it.”
From political leaders to professional athletes and everyday citizens, there is an opportunity for any individual to lead boldly. When deciding how to lead those around you, it may be easy to default to a particular perspective and/or opinion about current events. However, we invite you to consider that conflicts sometimes arise when parties favor their own interpretations vs. the facts. In your organizations, how do you lead yourself and your teams away from interpretations? The only way out is to go back to facts. You will be able to take a stand and practice bold leadership by focusing on the facts and strategizing accordingly.