By his reckless actions, Putin has sharply raised the price of his admission to the club he needs to join if his dreams of a revived Russia aren’t come crashing down around him.
Building a house, or community, or company is hard work. It takes focus, creativity, and endurance. It requires strategy, execution, and salesmanship.
On the other hand, chaos is easy. Burning down a house is a lot easier than designing and building one. Vandalizing a community is easier than protecting it. Being a conspiracy theorist on Twitter is easier than building something valuable.
If progress requires skill and elegance, chaos requires force and rage.
This dynamic is true in life, business, and global affairs.
For seventy years, many people, representing many countries, have put in the hard work of creating a global order. It required leadership, compromise, and deliberation. It required — requires — guts. The world is unquestionably better as a result.
Putin’s Russia is testing a different model.
In recent years, Russia has:
– Annexed Crimea, Ukrainian territory the size of an American state — but denied it
– Executed a Stalin-like assassination campaign, most recently in the UK — but denied it
– Accelerated mass slaughter in Syria, perpetuating what some call genocide — but denied it
– Hacked the American presidential election, turning a society into a tribal civil war — but denied it
In each case, the Russian objective is singular: chaos.
Russian bull meets global china shop.
In the short term, its approach is working. But in the long term — in life, business, and global affairs — I will take strong builders over chaotic weaklings.