Diversity of Leadership in American Society
The best speeches demonstrate the power of a single voice. They may be delivered by politicians, preachers, or athletes. Some such as Abraham Lincolns Gettysburg Address or Martian Luther King Jr.s I have a Dream speech, may inspire and encourage us, unite and guide us. Others, such as farewell addresses of presidents George Washington and Dwight D. Eisenhower, may warn or even alarm us. Whether they contain the polished prose and delivery of President John F. Kennedys inaugural address or the broken English of Bartholomew Vanzetti, great speeches remind us of the power of language and the diversity of leadership skills.
Washington was the first president of the United States and one of the most important leaders in history. His role in gaining independence for the American colonies and later in unifying them under the new U. S federal government cannot be overestimated. Washington was the most revered man in the United States. A lesser person might have used power to establish a military dictatorship or to be become king. Washington sternly suppressed all such attempts by his officers and continued to obey the weak and divided Continental Congress. He was a leading influence in persuading the states to participate in the Constitutional Convention, over which he presided, and he used his immense prestige to help gain ratification of the constitution of the United States. The famous tribute by General Henry Lee, first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, accurately reflects the emotions that Washingtons death aroused. His ability as a leader shows us that he truly deserved the title Father of his Country.
Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence. He was considered a very brilliant man. His interests were boundless and his accomplishments were great and varied. He was a philosopher, educator, naturalist, scientist, architect, inventor, pioneer in scientific farming, musician, and writer. He was the leading spokesman for democracy in his time. As president, he strengthened the powers of the executive branch. He was the first president to lead a political party, and through it he exercised control over the Congress. It was his optimism and great leadership that is the essence of what came to be called Jeffersonian democracy.
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States and was considered one of the greatest men in U. S history. He was a humane, far-sighted statesman in his lifetime, and became a legend and a folk hero after his death. A superb politician, he persuaded the people, with reasoned words and thoughtful deeds, to look at him for leadership. He had a lasting influence on American political institutions, especially in setting an example of using fast action in time of national emergency.
Franklin Roosevelt served longer than any other president (Washington excluded), and held office during two of the greatest crises ever faced by the U. S. His leadership of the Democratic Party transformed it into a political means for American liberalism. Both in peacetime and in war his impact on the office of president was enormous. Although there were strong presidents before him, they were the exception. In Roosevelts 12 years in office strong leadership became a basic part of the United States government.
John F. Kennedy was assassinated before he completed his third year as president. His achievements, both foreign and domestic, were therefore limited. Nevertheless, his influence was worldwide, and his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis may have prevented war. He brought to the presidency an awareness of the cultural and historical traditions of the United States and an appreciation of intellectual excellence. Because Kennedy eloquently expressed the values of 20th-century America, his presidency had an importance beyond its legislative and political achievements. He was the last of any real example of a leader, in the true sense of the word.
In all truth it’s hard to bottle leadership into a few characteristics, every one has their own style even though there seems to a pattern with all the great leaders that have been mentioned here. They are all intelligent, they are consistent and confident, not only with themselves but with their position as leaders. It may not be the fact that they are eloquent speakers, or that they are rich. The American people dont look for anything particular, which is shown by the diversity of leaders.