Being a successful president means being a leader, but what, exactly, are the characteristics of leadership? Some suggest there aren’t good presidents. William F. Buckley once famously remarked that “the office of the presidency is so staggeringly complicated that nobody, nobody, can be a good president.” I disagree. It is clear that it is, perhaps, one of the world’s hardest jobs. There was a sign on Ronald Reagan’s desk when he was president, and it said simply, “It can be done.”
It strikes me that one of the most important things that a president has to have to be successful is clarity of vision. Effective presidents have a strategic vision and a direction in which they want to lead the country. They are concerned with big issues and big challenges, and seek to explain their vision in a way that allows people to understand their circumstances and develop confidence in those proposals. I like to think of Lincoln with the “House Divided” speech, saying very clearly his goal was to save the Union while limiting the expansion of slavery. It is exactly that determination and clarity that makes a successful and great leader/president.
The second characteristic, clarity of direction is the consistency of purpose but a willingness to change strategy in moments of crisis. Once again I think of Lincoln, where his purpose remained the same while the strategies continued to be modified.
Lastly, a good leader has an exemplary character. It is of utmost importance that a leader is trustworthy to lead others. A leader needs to be trusted and be known to live their life with honestly and integrity.
In conclusion, a successful president is one whom has clarity of vision, direction and trustworthy. I never knew the differences between presidents until I began to grow as an individual myself. Those who have what it takes and actually execute their tasks in front of them to better others before themselves are those who...