FDR: Leadership | Teen Ink

FDR: Leadership

September 6, 2008
By cabi816 GOLD, Greenville, South Carolina
cabi816 GOLD, Greenville, South Carolina
14 articles 0 photos 1 comment

The Presidency is… preeminently a place of moral leadership. All our great Presidents were leaders of thought at times when certain historic ideas in the life of the nation had to be clarified… that is why the office is- a superb opportunity for reapplying, applying in new conditions, the simple rules of human conduct to which we always go back. Without leadership alert and sensitive to change, we are all bogged up or lose our way."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt's claim, that leadership, specifically the presidency, includes several points that outline the qualities of a leader. In the claim, Roosevelt states that good leaders are moral, rise to power in a time of need, follow basic human code, and are personable, which is probably to be culturally compatible. They also are knowledgeable about history, and the changes in society and the world.
The social implications that accompany this quote, depicts the American public that Roosevelt knew. The implications show that the society needs to be coaxed along in many areas of life. They are not necessarily a driven or well directed collection of people and are unable to effectively lead themselves. This can be seen in the claim where it says, "Without leadership and alert and sensitive to change, we are all bogged up or lose our way" (Roosevelt). Roosevelt may have been concerned with America becoming technologically, medically or socially obsolete. The segment of the claim that states we will "lose our way" (Roosevelt), maybe referring to loosing our goal of being an advanced country in many fields.
The claim also depicts a people who are not able to fix, defeat, or grasp "historic ideas… that need to be clarified" (Roosevelt). Because of this, the society's leaders need to be well acquainted with history in order to be able to answer concerns about "historic ideas" (Roosevelt). For a leader to be able to answer historic concerns, the leader must have a grasp on the boundaries of morality. With this, having a stable moral leader is important because a moral leader is a very public and eminent reminder of morality.
Though the reading our Leadership and Society class has been assigned, there are two main types of leadership described in Roosevelt's claim: transactional and transforming. Transactional leadership is, “when one person takes the initiative in making contact with others with the purpose of an exchanged of valued things… Each person recognizes the other as a person” (p.19 Burns). This type of leadership applies to the claim in several ways. When a voter votes for a candidate, such as a presidential candidate discussed in Roosevelt’s claim, they are exchanging a vote for change in government. They also might be voting in hopes that a national issue will be fixed changed. Both parties of the transaction must believe that the other is a person because if they do not, they will have very different goals. In order to be a leader, he must have the same goals as his followers, otherwise he will not be leading them. Transforming leadership is, “when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality” (p.20 Burns). This type of leadership applies to Roosevelt’s claim because the leader he describes has a moral code and can be motivational. The leader can be motivational because he is sensitive to change and can motivate his followers to change accordingly. Because of this, the leader will bring both morality and motivation to his followers.
I believe my definition of leadership is similar to Roosevelt’s claim. Leadership is when a person seeks out another for the exchange the exchange of a variety of goods. The common factor between the leader and the follower is their goal. The leader influence or direct the way by which the follower completes their goal. Some leaders manipulate their followers, but I believe that the manipulated followers will eventually find a new leader. In every situation, an effective leadership strategy varies depending on the environment. This is supported by, “Leadership is an improvisational art,” (p. 22 McClure). This supports the fact that the strategy must change because like improvisational art, nothing works the same twice. I also believe agree with Roosevelt’s claim where it hints at having a valid concern about being technically advanced in a variety of fields. So, having a leader who is, “alert and sensitive to change,” (Roosevelt) is imperative. Even with this, I disagree with some of Roosevelt’s claim. I feel as though the American public that Roosevelt knew was more motivated than he gave them credit. Also, the public would not have been, “bogged up or lose their way,” (Roosevelt) without a leader. Roosevelt made many good points and ideas about leadership throughout his claim.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jan. 21 2009 at 6:05 pm
i injoied this articel it has helped me understand FDR more in depth.