A leader is someone who is held to high standards and is looked upon to make decisions of his or her followers. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a perfect leader because of the many attributes he demonstrated as President of the United States. He led this country through moments in history which consist of the Great Depression and World War II. There are six main qualities that define a good leader. President Franklin D. Roosevelt demonstrated such honorable qualities which brought America out of a desperate crisis changing America forever.Integrity is a quality that a leader must establish. A person with integrity has the same integrity on the outside as they do on the inside. Such an individual can be trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, even when it might be expeditious to do so. FDR articulated this quality when he strived to entrust the American people through his fireside chats. It was then that he confided in the American people as to the burdens during the Great Depression and his plan to make a better America.
Dedication is another quality that determines the value of a leader. To accomplish this, a leader will spend dedicated time and energy necessary to successfully complete the task at hand. Dedication goes beyond the call of duty of what is expected of you. FDR was composed of this quality. He always sought to help the American people by giving them a chance to get some money in their pockets and get employment to help solve the Great Depression.
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Roosevelt made a New Deal in which he made corporations and laws that helped give people jobs and become financially stable. An example of this was when the Works Progress Administration (WPA) employed people to do artistic, public works and research projects. This New Deal showed that FDR was dedicated to making our country one of equal opportunity and an all-around better place to live.
The openness of a leader is a strong quality which attributes to listening to new ideas even if they do not conform to the usual way of thinking. FDR was able to suspend judgment of others and welcome their ideas. He related to other people and sympathized with the tough time of their day-to-day lives. He understood what the American people valued and worked hard to develop new laws helping to put an end to the Great Depression.
Creativity is the ability to think differently and to go outside the box to make solutions. Roosevelt was filled with this gifted quality. He always developed new solutions and laws that would contribute to not only more jobs for the people but jobs that would help the environment as well.
Assertiveness is the ability to clearly state what one expects so that there will be no misunderstandings. Along with assertiveness comes the responsibility to clearly understand what followers expect from their leader. FDR clearly had this through doing things in a timely and efficient manner. FDR was the most active and proficient President in his first 100 days in office. He worked diligently on the New Deal in order to give people new jobs to recover from debt and the Great Depression. It was the strong quality of assertiveness that led the country to a clear understanding of our President’s tactics.
The final quality of leader is a sense of humor which is vital to relieving tension as well as to defuse hostility, therefore, maintaining a level of harmony. Effective leaders know how to energize their followers. Humor is a form of power that provides control over the working environment. FDR had a great sense of humor always talking to people and always putting a smile on his face to let America know even in the toughest times, he can still laugh and be happy. This left people with a positive sense of hope in their President. One reporter Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. is reported to have said “Roosevelt has a second class intellect but a first class personality (Bennett, 156).”
The nature of the time and the obstacles a leader might face during FDR’s 12 years in office was a Great Depression. A time whereby most of the entire country was hurting from another World War, which people were against. This combined was a tough enough job to conquer let alone the everyday obstacles a President faces while in the White House. These times were the hardest that any US President might ever have faced. The leadership qualities that I have explained resulted in the success of our 32nd President FDR. It was these qualities that gave him the strength, character and leadership to be one of the greatest Presidents to have ever led our country. Roosevelt was a man of sold effort and who welcomed and invited challenges.
Two of his biggest challenges were the Great Depression and World War II. His divine qualities led our country out of these catastrophic events bringing America to the great country that it is today. Roosevelt ultimately saved capitalism through his economic reforms. His regulations of economic affairs introduced the government into many areas of new life. The New Deal was the new life that was breathed into Congress which brought about new jobs and money for the people. Roosevelt’s enthusiasm for his programs led him to be a sense or peace for the people of the country. Although his New Deal was not the biggest utility to help the Great Depression, it did help psychologically by giving the American people the feeling that everything was going to be alright.
It gave the people hope that our country would survive through distraught times. In 1937 an economic depression was reversed to a recession. James MacGregor Burns put it as “luck came to save FDR (Bennett, 201).” It was in fact the truth as the New Deal did not form this recession. Ultimately the war in Europe gave American business new markets, making the United States as Roosevelt puts it the “great arsenal of democracy (Updegrove, 56).” The war opened up jobs for men and women, African Americans, and other minorities. Even though we were just giving aid to our Allies Britain and were for a policy of isolationism, it still produced more jobs because we had troops going to war and giving other Americans opportunities.
On December 7, 1941 the Japanese changed that with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and America declared war on the Japanese opening up even more jobs because more and more troops were being sent over to go fight for our country. During the war, Roosevelt took his role as commander in chief very seriously involving him in military planning and sometimes overriding the opinions of joint chiefs. He kept the same men at the top of the command structure from the beginning of the war to its end. His performance during the war, overall aided the war. His political awareness kept up the morale of the American people. FDR is typically portrayed as an isolationist and a belligerent being pushed into the war.
A combination of him not wanting to be in the war and him wanting to be in the war is what made this a strategic approach to the war itself. Although his actions seemed to draw the United States into deeper involvement in the war, FDR continued to pursue his goal of keeping the United States out of conflict. Rather than dissembling, Roosevelt charted a steady and rational approach based on his strategic perspective. His approach toward the war blended the isolationist view with his desire to keep out of European conflicts with active efforts to overthrow Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regiment.
Once the war started FDR wanted to influence the outcome of the war so he and his administration thought they could cause Germany to collapse themselves to lead to their demise as well as Hitler’s. FDR realized that he could not make the same mistake of Woodrow Wilson and declare the country neutral. Instead, he and deliberately pursued opportunities to aid the French and British with ammunitions, aircraft and supplies. During the late 1930s the Roosevelt administration envisioned Germany’s power as extremely diminutive and its people under abuse with several years of full mobilization.
These beliefs caused the outbreak of the war and these conditions were comparable to those of the First World War. In 1940, FDR predicted that “there will be a revolution in Germany itself (McPherson 226).” This prediction that helped save the American people from both the Great Depression and World War II was absolutely remarkable. Overall, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a man of integrity, dedication, openness, creativity, assertiveness, and a light sense of humor. These qualities are what made him an intelligent, respected leader of the American people. Without the guidance of President Roosevelt, United States history may have been changed.
His dedication led this country out of the Great Depression and a hideous Second World War. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is a true human symbol of what the United States stands for and believes in as a leader of our country. Many Presidents recite in their Presidential Inauguration Speech that they will perform their job as president to the “best of their ability (McPherson 1).” President Roosevelt did indeed perform to the best of his ability and led America out of a time of despair through his exquisite qualities of devout leadership.
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