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The president is the face of the people he represents. As such, he is expected to be the best. The president’s job is not easy. But in principle, it is often viewed to be simple. It includes signing bills, presiding over the executive, commanding the armed forces, nominating high judges and a few other duties. However, not everyone can do the job. There are some qualities that leaders must possess for them to be effective at what they do. A person with above average intelligence, certain leadership skills and a range of other characteristics can do the job. Today, presidents are rated using different metrics. Leadership traits form part of these metrics.
Leadership qualities that a president should have
Individuals disagree about what leadership traits are most important in a President. However, there are some that are commonly accepted. The first leadership trait is the ability to face a crisis. A good president should be able to take quick action in the case of a crisis. There are numerous problems that threaten a nation (Greenstein, 2000). The president should be able to use his platform to communicate honestly and with intelligence in order to guide people on the way forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt is one of the presidents of the United States who led citizens through a major crisis. He served in the capacity from 1933 to 1945. He is viewed as one of the greatest presidents due to his ability to successfully lead the nation through two major crises: the Great Depression and World War II. He made use of the "bully pulpit" to build his power, hence influencing the lawmakers and the public to follow his ideas and policies.
The second leadership that President should have is intelligence. Intelligence ensures that a leader makes realistic decisions and policies. So as to make right decision, a president should be intelligent. Emotional intelligence falls under this factor. Many researchers have emphasized the importance of emotional intelligence in leaders. Even though Intelligence Quotient is often associated with success, the ability to understand and deal with different people in the environment is an important aspect of intelligence. Any workplace is not an emotion-free as particular aspects of emotional intelligence forecast performance and considerably contributes to career success. An individual with emotional intelligence would make a good leader as he would have the ability to recognize and understand the emotions, concerns and needs of other people. A leader can easily pick up on emotional cues and recognize power dynamics when associating with different groups of people. Good social skills and competence in relating to others are signs of emotionally intelligent individuals. Thus, emotional intelligence is an important part of leadership characteristics.
The third characteristic is honesty. Political honesty is a rare trait as arguably, all presidents in history have made false promises to their people, often during presidential elections. A good leader should uphold truth and integrity. Honesty ensures that a leader preserves the confidence and trust given to him by the people (IODICE, 2016). Mr. Abraham Lincoln is perhaps the most well-known president on this trait. His presidential nickname was “Honest Abe.” Abraham Lincoln earned his nickname before his first inauguration when people who knew him recognized his intolerance of lying mostly in the court.
The fourth characteristic is Accountability. A good leader understands his role and responsibilities well. He must be able to answer questions regarding his roles in his capacity as a leader. In the case of a failure, a president should be able to acknowledge his responsibility rather than blame others for his failure. He should recognize himself as the head of the entire nation.
A president should also be Goal-oriented. There are many goals that presidents have set to achieve including the tax code, entitlement spending, immigration system, national debt, education system, healthcare, foreign policy and many others. Presidents should set aggressive goals and make efforts to achieve them.
Greenstein, F. I. (2000). The qualities of effective presidents: An overview from FDR to Bill Clinton. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 30(1), 178-185.
IODICE, E. (2016). The President of the United States: What Leadership Qualities and Values Do We. The Journal of Values-Based Leadership, 15.
Schyns, B., & Schilling, J. (2011). Implicit leadership theories: Think leader, think effective?. Journal of Management Inquiry, 20(2), 141-150.
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