Leadership Styles

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The leadership styles of the United States Presidents can make them effective or it can limit their effectiveness. The effectiveness of the President has direct effect on the American people. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy were two leaders that had major influences in the mid-20th century. Both men played a key role in the United States involvement in Vietnam. The experiences, styles of leading, and characteristics of both President’s Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy intensified the level of involvement the United States had in the Vietnam experience. Even though the leadership styles may have differed, the two leaders refused to let communism spread (Moss, 2010). Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy’s leadership style although different had similar qualities. President Eisenhower and Kennedy could be considered to have the leadership styles of both the “Director” and “Navigator”. Thomas Preston has explained a Director style is a leader with “both extensive policy experience and a high need for power” (Preston, 2001). Directors have direct involvement in policy process by setting guidelines and advocating for their own personal views. The Navigator also has extensive expertise in policy but they also search for the opinions and viewpoints of other advisors. Navigators will gather the information and from the multiple different perspectives have a more deliberate decision making style. Without having a Navigator sense of style, the effectiveness of any leader can be limited because of a lack of information gathered and reviewed for decision. President Eisenhower proved his leadership style by the way he was involved in the political unrest in Vietnam. According to Preston, President Eisenhower “preferred formal, hierarchically organized advisory structure where information and advice could be centralized into a small inner circle of advisers” (Preston, 2001). However because of the President’s expertise in foreign policy he had a very...
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