When Ronald Reagan said, "What I'd really like to do is go down in history as the President who made Americans believe in themselves again", he probably was not thinking too much about the definition of leadership. However, without realizing, he pretty much defined it. I believe the definition of leadership is having a impression on others, and not only inspiring them, but making a physical difference in their lives (hopefully in a good way). Without that aspect, there is not only no effective leadership, but there is no leadership at all.
To have this ability to make impressions and differences, you need communication skills. One who can not communicate well will never be a leader. A leader must know how to speak so his ideas are understood in the correct way. Ronald Reagan very own nickname was "The Great Communicator." The examples that prove his nickname true are his great acting skills, the fact that his talks with the Soviet Union push to the Russian move toward capitalism.
The next aspect of effective leadership is the ability to make decisions to change, and not always stick to the status quo. What good is a leader who is afraid of change? Despite economic setbacks, President Reagan reduced government spending tremendously, and cut back on business regulations to strengthen the business sector of the economy. By making this change, the inflation rate fell 13% to 2%, and created thousands of jobs for Americans. When Reagan entered office, the unemployment rate was 10.8%, when he left it was 5.3%. This economic growth would have never come if Reagan did not have the will to change.
Even though Reagan's term sounds successful, there were many problems. Failure is an aspect of leadership whether we want to believe it or not. The drug menace, loss of international competitiveness, falling standards in education, and the rising national debt were all of Reagan's flaws. However, to...