Vladimir Putin: His Strategic Leadership and Decision-Making

  • Lieutenant Colonel Jocelyn J. Schermerhorn

Engaging Russian President Vladimir Putin as a credible world leader, building a stronger economic relationship with Russia, and acknowledging Russia’s regional influence as a coalition partner may be far more successful in influencing Putin than the confrontational approach currently used by Western leaders. Strategic leader competencies contribute to leadership skills that include the ability to determine future requirements and to use integrative thinking techniques to address complex challenges. The four strategic leadership competencies most important for Western leaders to understand and appreciate in order to better interact with and influence Putin’s decision-making are frame of reference development, envisioning the future, systems understanding, and communication. While some may argue that the only way to deal with Russia is through policies that subordinate Russia to the West, this paper identifies three more effective recommendations related to acknowledging Putin as an influential leader in world affairs, building greater economic interdependence between the West and Russia that is mutually beneficial, and bringing Russia into a coalition partnership to comprehensively address global security issues.