Leadership is the cornerstone of success to every individual, institution and government. Through effective leadership, the country’s governance explicitly encompasses the needs and expectation of the populace. Prevalently, the measure of the success or the failure of the US presidency is majorly based on the applied leadership styles. Both the president Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy registered an indelible ink in their remarkable leadership style. The paper seeks to evaluate the leadership of the president Eisenhower and Kennedy. The paper also explains the potency of direct leadership in US presidency.
Interestingly, both President Eisenhower and Kennedy were successful and effective leaders, but both had dissenting leadership style. Present Eisenhower adopted a formal leadership style. The mentioned leadership respected hierarchy as well as institutions. Similarly, the pyramid leadership styles permitted the president to consult effectively on various opinions. Eisenhower invariably associated with New Look policy due to his consulting nature. The establishment of the offices of the White house Chief of Staff, the office of Cabinet secretariat and the office of the Congressional Liaison were all creation of Eisenhower (Moss, 2010). The present recognized the essentiality of the mentioned offices and intuited that his success entirely lays on the effectiveness the mentioned offices. Similarly, the president instituted the planning staff whose primary goal was to filter and ensure that only vital matters brought for debate. The president initiated open discussions and debate; however, the final decision rested on him.
Eisenhower maintained and focused on a balanced budget. He advocated a budget with zero deficits and a strong, healthy economy. The president insisted that the economy must balance both political and social needs, dubbed as the great equation. Also, the president insisted that there should be a balance between military expenditure and fiscal policy. The mentioned strategy aimed at establishing a stable US economy. Effective leadership only exists through proper consultation; Eisenhower incessantly consulted John Foster, secretary of states, Dr Milton, his brother, Guggenheim, businessman the valuable information that he received assisted the president in decision making. It is worth to mention that myriad legislation went through during the Eisenhower regime. For instance, in 1957 he led the congress to enact the first civil rights legislation and the passage of Federal Highway-Aid act of 1954. Due to his effective and efficient leadership style the bills went through despite the astronomical number of the democratic congress.
John Kennedy is another remarkable and incomparable leader in the US history. He embraced informal leadership style, depicted by cabinet interaction. The president exterminated the pyramid structure of the White House staff; such permitted him to interact openly with the staff. To seek information, the president visited various department and officials. Interestingly, the president rarely called cabinet meetings. The administration of John Kennedy initiated Flexible Response policy; the said policy permits the president to bypass the existing and official channels in order to seek information (Moss, 2010). The policy of the president was majorly on Truman Doctrine. The informal leadership style builds a rapport between him and the federal staff leading to motivation in various departments.
The president advocated a new world with a vision of creating a democratic America. He espoused the civil rights movement as one way of rebuilding America. He insisted on the importance of foreign relations, urging US to play a key role in the mentioned foreign relation. Kennedy advocated financial aid for education and the relocation of the USA immigrants. Applying the Flexible Response policy, the president advised that US must restructure and reinforce the economy through investment (Abshire, 2001). Despite the president serving for a short time, the highest number of bills went through during his time. Just to mention but a few, unemployment, health, education, housing, labor, equal rights, defense and environment bills. His ownership of failing to avert the Bay Disaster depicted the leadership traits in him.
US presidency entirely needs leads leadership to function properly. Initiation and implementation of vision require leadership traits. Secondly, president needs leadership tutelage to choice the right cabinet ministers; it is through the cabinet secretaries that the president implements his manifesto, (Abshire, 2001). Thirdly, the president needs leadership to influence policy of governance. Proper and effective decision-making emerges through leadership. For any president to achieve his mission he/she must use the leadership skills to influence the congress. Similarly, leadership skills assist the president to motivate the federal staff in the performance on their allocated duties.
Abshire, David, M. (2001). Triumphs and Tragedies of the Modern Presidency: Seventy-Six Case Studies in Presidential Leadership. USA: Greenwood Publishing.
Moss, G. D. (2010). Vietnam: An American Ordeal Sixth Edition. USA: Pearson Education Inc.