When I think of the word leader I automatically think President, CEO, Business Owner, and so on. I think it is the same for many, rarely do we think of leaders among us, regular people, who help make the companies they work for a bit better. If we look back on the trait theory, which states that, a leader must possess certain qualities in order to lead effectively. These qualities are, but not limited to drive, ambition, persistence, self-confidence, and assertiveness. Essentially based on the theory of traits we can all be natural born leaders. However, we must also possess an array of skills such as competence in our work, people skills, and the ability to work with different ideas. Skills can be acquired throughout a lifetime. This means that a leader does not necessarily have to be a person of power, but a person that is familiar to you.
With this in mind I thought, what leaders in my life stand out, it wasn’t long until I realized that there was a leader very close to me all along, my grandfather.
Victor Suvorov was born on June 18th, 1934, in the former Soviet Union, to a family of 11; he was one of 9 siblings. For such a large family living during World War 2, the prognosis for success was minimal. While many starved, others lived in complete poverty. But hardship during childhood did not stop Victor from being successful and an accomplished leader.
At the age of 18 he enlisted in the military where he first embarked on his journey with aviation. He served as a pilot in the military, and upon completing his service he began his career as a pilot. Eventually he was recognized for his excellent work and promoted to commander of his crew. Unfortunately he experienced a heart attack at the age of 50, which prevented him from flying ever again. While for most this would lead to discouragement and an end to a career, Victor’s persistence and drive pushed him to find success once again.
After his recovery he was offered a job as a dispatcher working for the same airport where he flew before. Excelling at his position led to a promotion to supervisor for Air Moldova. In his position with Air Moldova he acquired many friends, and acquaintances, becoming the oldest employee. While his friends had entered retirement he remained with Air Moldova until the age of 77 when he retired. Even after his retirement he still received calls from his coworkers on how to resolve and deal with various situations. He was always full of life and possessed great people skills, which showed through the amount of friends he had acquired over the years. In 2014 he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, and while afflicted with crippling symptoms, he never once complained. He remained the man he always was, confident and communicable. Even after his death his memory was commemorated for all the ways he had affected the people around him, as a true leader would. Hundreds of sympathy letter and phone calls poured in from all around the world, remembering a leader who touched the lives of many.
In 2010 a county book was released in Moldova, commemorating all of the influential people that contributed to the city of Chishinau; Victor Suvorov was featured. You can find the image from the book in the link below.