In the 1700-s British King George III called George Washington "The greatest man in the world." American history is taught well in Russian public schools, but probably wasn't delivered as well during the Soviet times when Vladimir Putin was a boy. Had Putin looked into the history books, he would've found out that he had given up the opportunity to become the Greatest Man in Russia's history. In fact, he lined himself up to become one of the less impressive men in history, one whose personal hobbies and views, combined with age and historically long terms at the steering wheel (surpassing even Stalin) may lead to some results other than a free market economy...
What is the secret sauce for being the "Greatest Man in the World?" It is simple: be humble. Or as Bob Lefsets, an LA-based music producer says about the record industry and technology at large, "It's all about the timing." Putin failed at both. Unfortunately, his failures are much more than just his personal business. What really hurts is the fact that Putin built a strong, wealthy country and the momentum of that could have made Russia a role model to all, including the United States - responsible spending, non-involvement in foreign affairs, strong financial system, and... That's where the list ends. When talking to a Moscow friend, I mentioned Putin's accomplishments, to which he responded, "What do all of them mean if he failed at the most important thing -- grooming the leadership among the future generations."
In 1775, when George Washington accepted command of the Continental Army, he promised Congress he would resign his commission when the war was over. Once the British withdrew, he was true to his word. Just before then, Washington had been approached by the officers who pledged their support if he decided to seize civilian power. In response, General Washington scolded the conspiring officer.
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