Russia’s action man president. Charming and intimidating. Admired at home and abroad. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
All this is Vladimir Putin.
We list down 7 essential skills every man can learn from Vladimir Putin.
1. Stay strong in the face of adversity
Vladimir Putin’s is the only surviving child of Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin, a Soviet Navy conscript, and Maria Ivanovna Shelomova, a factory worker.
He had two elder brothers, named Viktor and Albert, born in the mid-1930s. Albert died only a few months after being born, and Viktor died from diphtheria during World War II in the siege of Leningrad (Saint Petersburg).
Vladimir Putin speaks of his humble beginnings, living in an apartment shared with several other families, chasing rats for fun.
“I come from an ordinary family, and this is how I lived for a long time, nearly my whole life. I lived as an average, normal person and I have always maintained that connection.”
And today he is the most powerful man in Russia.
2. Focus and discipline yourself
Vladimir Putin started school in 1960 at School No. 193 in Leningrad. He was not very interested in studying and was labeled a troublemaker by teachers and school administration.
Soon, Vladimir realized that focus can be gained from participating in sports. Thus, by the age of 12, he seriously got involved in sambo, a Russian martial art, and combat sport.
He then turned and learned how to read an opponent and use his opponent’s weaknesses to his advantage. Today, he holds a sixth-degree black belt in the sport.
But Putin didn’t stop there. He went on to conquer other forms of martial arts such as taekwondo and karate.
“Other priorities were emerging. I was asserting myself through sports, achieving something. There were new goals, too. No doubt, this had an enormous effect.”
3. Know what you want and take steps to get it
Young Putin was inspired by Soviet screen actors Vyacheslav Tikhonov and Georgiy Zhzhonov to become a spy. But he realized the importance of knowledge.
“It became clear that street smarts were no enough, so I began doing sports. But even that was not enough for maintaining my status, so to speak, for very long. I realized that I also needed to study well.”
So Vladimir went to a public reception office of the KGB Directorate to find out how to become an intelligence officer. He was told that first, he would have to either serve in the army, or complete college degree, preferably with a degree in law.
In 1975, upon graduation from the Leningrad State University’s law department, Putin was assigned to work in the State Security Committee.
Putin served in KGB for 16 years.
4. Make the right connections
After Putin resigned from the KGB, he was appointed as the advisor to Mayor Anatoly Sobchak on international affairs in 1990. Sobchak was Putin’s former professor of law at the Leningrad State University.
A year after, Putin was appointed head of the Committee for External Relations of the Saint Petersburg Mayor’s Office.
Despite the huge responsibilities the mayoral office brought upon Putin’s shoulders, in 1997, he still found time to defend his doctoral dissertation in economics at the Saint Petersburg State Mining Institute and got a Ph.D.
Putin’s work in Leningrad brought him to the attention of then Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin appointed Putin as the Russian Prime Minister and consequently his successor to the presidency.
5. Use opportunities without hesitation
When Yeltsin offered him the position of acting president, Putin remarks of his decision to accept the offer:
“I had my own thoughts, my own reasoning, but at the same time, there was another logic I gat to consider, too. Fate was offering me the chance to work for the country at the very highest level and it would have been foolish to say, no, I’m going to go and sell sunflowers seeds instead, or go into private legal practice. I could do all those other things after all, and so I decided that this had to come first, and everything else later.”
As Putin’s example shows, life offers opportunities only every once in a while.
So once you see an opportunity, seize it with confidence, but with eyes open to the responsibilities that come along.
6. Be in unity with others
Putin understands the significance of unity in the country:
“I consider it to be my sacred duty to unify the people of Russia, to rally citizens around clear aims and tasks, and to remember every day and every minute that we have ONE Motherland, ONE people, and ONE future.”
In the same way, unity among people, whether in business or in family, enhances cooperation, creativity, and productivity.
7. Be committed and act accordingly
Without sustained action, any good idea will remain just an idea.
The commitment the man brings to his ideas and goals by putting in the actual work is what carries a business, a family, or any other institution forward.
According to Putin:
“If I do something, I try to see it through to its completion, or at least try to ensure that it brings the maximum results.”
Love him or hate him, Putin’s life offers many valuable lessons that every man can apply to their professional or personal life.
Tell us what you think of Vladimir Putin?