As the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin has been somewhat of a controversial leader. Born in 1952, Mr. Putin has served as both President and Prime Minister of Russia. During his second term as Prime Minister of the Federation, he also served as the Chairman of the United Russia Party.
Mr. Putin studied law at the Saint Petersburg State University. Following graduation from law school, he joined the KGB, the Soviet Union’s intelligence organization. He worked as a foreign intelligence officer for sixteen years, eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His first work in the political theater came when he was chosen as part of President Boris Yeltsin’s administration, eventually becoming Acting President when Yeltsin resigned in 1999. Under Putin’s leadership, the Russian Federation has grown not only in economic prowess, but as one of the primary world leaders.
Vladimir Putin’s Leadership StyleVladimir Putin has a leadership style that is autocratic. This style is characterized by one person having complete control over an organization or project, and is a hallmark of Russian leadership going back to the Czars of the 15th Century. In Putin’s Russia, tough decisions need to be made quickly and with real authority. While he has assembled a team of subordinates that help him manage the daily tasks of the country’s administration, he relies on his quick thinking and his command of risk vs. reward strategies.
His goal as President of the Federation was to show the world that Russia was capable of being a reliable world ally, both in economic as well as in military terms. He contrasted his country’s leadership against that of Western leaders like American President Barack Obama, who he saw as someone too cautious and too wary of long‐term commitments to be an effective world leader. Putin, on the other hand, demonstrated that he is willing to risks in order to advance the principles of his country’s government.
Studying Putin’s LeadershipOn the world stage, Vladimir Putin is seen as a rugged individual. In the West, he is perceived as a bit of a “tough guy”, often appearing shirtless and engaging in outdoor activities that Western leaders normally shy away from.
The reality, though, is that Putin tends to be rather secretive in his leadership. While he may be a rugged man, he is also often vague and difficult for other leaders to assess. With a tightly‐knit team of advisers around him, he has earned a reputation as one who believes in what he says and as one who follows through on achieving the goals he has set out. Over the years, he has steadily moved away from collective or democratic leadership to the autocratic style we know him for today. He is ready to make hard decisions and does not wait for others before doing so. The result is that the Russian Federation appears stronger than ever.