Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Фільтри для води та лідерство – Water Filters and Ukraine.

Written by: on April 15, 2024

Фільтри для води та лідерство – Water Filters and Ukraine.


Part 1 What others are saying.

Part 2 What I learned from Brown

Epilogue – Ukraine bound



Dare to Lead,  by Brené Brown[1] is highly referred to by many in the leadership field.  Within our DLGP02 Cohort, there seems to be a cult following.  Primarily because it touches chords in all the leaders who read her book.

Part 1 – What others are saying.

Brown has been around since 2018.  Her impact is reported in several spaces.  She is on YouTube. Dare to Lead By Brené Brown: Animated Summary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoPsRM08bRg

In Book reviews. Len Lantz, “Book Review – Dare to Lead,” The Psychiatry Resource, June 28, 2021 [2]

  • Introducing the concept of rumbling, which is to enter into tough conversations with others (with some rules and boundaries in place)
  • Addressing the myths of vulnerability
  • Contrasting armored leadership and daring leadership
  • Explaining the negative impact of perfectionism on organizational culture
  • Confronting shame


Within the Cohort she has many fans…..

DLGPO2 – Tim Clarks writes, “She  (Brown) writes “Some of the most daring leaders I know have incredible vulnerability…and yet disclose very little.”  (Brown, 35). I have always wanted to be a vulnerable leader, but I can also be a private person. I’ve been wrestling lately with how to pull off both without seeming, or being, inauthentic.

I have been told that dogs in a pack have an Alpha Leader.  Let’s call him the “domineering leader.” Unknowingly, I have sought to have that title in my nonprofit www.goodsportsinternational.org.  That Domineering Leadership works when forging into new territory (i.e. Ukraine) but works rather poorly in more established setting (Hungary 26 years and Slovakia 28 years).  Sadly, I have burned some relational bridges in this “domineering” mode.  My response? In the last 3 months,  I have made myself vulnerable on a personal level (various issues) that reminds me of subordinate dog revealing his throat to the “alpha leader.”  This vulnerability hopefully will put an equal balance of “power” to those who I have offended.

 DLGP 02 – Esther Edwards writes, “Another takeaway was Brown’s acknowledgment of the helicopter parent syndrome where parents swaddle their children “in armor out of their own lack of confidence as parents and people.”[4] By coddling children by “fixing, praising only results, and intervening” they neglect to prepare them for a pathway forward “by teaching courage, praising effort, and modeling grit.

I am living through this right now with my 23 year old daughter who moved out of the house last week.  She was tired of being monitored.  We do so perhaps because has been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (her Hungarian mother died from cancer and many people self medicated with alcohol).  While highly functioning, my daughter is a 15 year old trapped in a 23 year old body. She wants adulthood, but lacks the understanding that car insurance, phone usage and education have to be paid for. All the budgeting classes etc…bounce off of her “I will do it my self armor.”  Sigh.  I remember that the prodigal son had to eat with the pigs before he came back home.  Weeks, months, years?  I pray that it is sooner than later.

 Part 2- What I learned from Brené Brown

Until this program I had never heard of Brene Brown.  Her writings are interesting and provocative.  In her introduction she lists 10 behaviors and cultural issues that leaders identified as getting in our way…(obstacles). Number 4 “Not enough people are taking smart risks or creating and sharing bold ideas to meet changing demands and the insatiable need for innovation. (p.8).

As GoodSports International (www.goodsportsinternational.org) enters Ukraine, I am made brilliantly aware of the body of Christ thinking outside of the box.  Eric has a refrigerator truck that moves Samaritan purse food up to villages up and down the spaces facing Russian aggressors.  Coach Sasha (and Andrew) plus their 19 soccer coaches and 3 chaplains minister to 300 children on a weekly soccer program.  Todd and Yevhven have engaged with 70 Ukrainian schools in their American Flag Football program. Kevin and crew in Odesa are ministering to widows and seniors.

I am exposed to a fraction of the work that GOD is doing in this war zone with Ukrainian and American Christians.  The need for the Gospel is now.  The attention of those suffering tragedy upon loss and then more tragedy, need the hope we have in Christ.  These Christians have taken “risk” to a whole new level.

Still – my U.S. based International Board initially stopped me from exploring the possibilities in Ukraine.  I was not surprised, but incredibly saddened as it confirmed what Brown said, “Not enough people are taking smart risks or creating and sharing bold ideas”,  Fortunately, God is in control and when I am told “no” I usually act anyway.  Especially, if stands in the way of expanding ministry.

Brown has coined BRAVING acronym, representing seven pillars of trust (Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Non-judgment, and Generosity), that Brown sees as essential for effective leadership (p.225).  In the coming summer I hope to establish trust with new Ukrainian ministry partners.


I have burned some relational bridges in my organization by pursuing Ukrainian projects, but once again God has honored “risky thinking.”  As an example, we have identified a need for water filters at the individual (to include soldier level) and larger water filters (think 300 soccer kids).

An “outside of the box thinker” suggested we invite people to buy water filters for Ukraine.  Individuals and churches are responding now.  GoodSports is a SPORTS ministry, but Christians who think outside the box in Ukraine, are “loving God, loving people” are making a difference.


P.S.  I will spend about a month in Ukraine this year.  Prayers that I connect with Ukrainian Christians who are doing the “heavy lifting” and that I can find support for their efforts upon my return in August.







[1] Brown, Brené. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. New York: Random House, 2018.

[2] Len Lantz, “Book Review – Dare to Lead,” The Psychiatry Resource, June 28, 2021, https://psychiatryresource.com/bookreviews/dare-to-lead-review.

About the Author


Russell Chun

interlinkt.org is now ready for your Refugee Resettlement needs. 15 tasks, languages ESL plans coming

10 responses to “Фільтри для води та лідерство – Water Filters and Ukraine.”

  1. Travis Vaughn says:

    Russell, thank you for modeling vulnerability here and for allowing our cohort to peer through a window into your life and ministry. You wrote that you have made yourself vulnerable in hopes of connecting with those you believe you have offended. Would you be open to sharing one or two ways you have sought to make yourself vulnerable? Or, you could answer a different question. At what point do you believe you recognized that you had this “domineering leader” posture as you led your organization? (Of course, you don’t have to answer either of those questions.)

    The only other B. Brown book I had read before Dare to Lead was Braving the Wilderness, a book someone suggested to me about 3 or 4 years ago.

    • mm Russell Chun says:

      Hi Travis,
      Oddly, my circumstances allowed me to ask for prayer. My daughter (adopted in Hungary) is going through a rough time. They saw her grow up and eagerly began to pray. Now we are back on equal footing.

      Type A leadership (autocrats, mafia bosses and U.S. Army officers) are domineering leaders by training and choice. The “new” thing for me is discovering that leaders in the civilian world are not domineering leaders.

      Life preparing and executing tasks during conflict, does not lend itself towards anything but domineering leadership.

      Hope that answers your questions.

  2. mm Kim Sanford says:

    Thanks for sharing a bit more about what your ministry is doing in Ukraine. May God bless that work abundantly and make it fruitful. Well done, Russ!

  3. mm Tim Clark says:

    Russ, you are an actual hero of mine. Over the last couple of years I’ve become increasingly deeply impacted by your love for the world, your heart for the lost and least, and your courage to do things most of us wouldn’t pursue. I’m literally in tears writing about you because I am so honored to know you. Thank you.

    I’ll be praying for your safety and effectiveness in Ukraine, and I’ll see you in DC!

  4. Jenny Dooley says:

    Thank you for all you do. You are an example of a daring and courageous leader. I’m happy to know such a “risky thinker” who takes action even when others don’t understand or stand in your way. My prayers are with you as you head to the Ukraine this summer. I’m looking forward to catching up in person in D.C.

  5. Scott Dickie says:

    Thanks Russell…appreciate you sharing the ways that you are seeking to broaden/diversify your leadership through vulnerability and a less ‘alpha’ command and control. You mention that different modes of leadership might be more appropriate in different circumstances, and I agree with you: If a house is on fire…command and control is likely the best option for those inside. I am curious if you think a leader can embody both vulnerability and let’s call it ‘quite directive’ leadership at the same time?

    • mm Russell Chun says:

      General Eric Shinseki was the Chief of Staff of the United States Army.

      A well-known quote by General Eric Shinseki is: “You must love those you lead before you can be an effective leader. You can certainly command without that sense of commitment, but you cannot lead without it.” This quote reflects his belief in the importance of genuinely caring for the well-being and success of one’s troops as a fundamental aspect of leadership.

      I think that GREAT leaders MUST include this in their leadership style.

      Not sure if that answers your question.

      Have a great summer.


  6. mm Pam Lau says:

    The quote above is powerful. Thank you for sharing your story about your 23-year-old daughter. I read a Scripture once that talks about how prophets experience so much pain because they love so deeply. I will have to find it for you. I agree with Tim that you are a hero to us – you care about Ukraine with the heart of God. Please keep us posted on the dates you are away so we can be praying for you!

    • mm Russell Chun says:

      Hi Pam,
      Thanks for your comments. I will depart June 27. Visit a GoodSports Baseball Camp in Slovakia, then Budapest, then into Ukraine. No plan in place for my return (to many variables in Ukraine). Prayefully the first week of August.


  7. mm Jonita Fair-Payton says:


    Thank you for modeling vulnerability and sharing yourself with us. I am continuing to pray for your family and will be praying for your safety as you travel this Summer.

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