Leadership Skills: John F. Kennedy vs. Barack Obama Essay

According to the Oxford dictionary, a leader is a person who commands a group, organization or country. In this case, both John F. Kennedy, thirty fifth president of the United States and Barack Obama, forty fourth and current president, were leaders but had different points of views when it came to leading. Even though they ruled over the same country they differed in their views of equality, freedom and justice. John F. Kennedy served as president from 1961 until he was killed in 1963. He was the youngest president in America ever elected and was also the youngest to die.

He won the elections in 1960 against republican candidate, Richard Nixon. He is still consider as one of the most charismatic president. His leadership style was based on allowing people to have an insight of what was really happening at the time. One of his most known styles was his search for personal gain and the benefit on human society trying to make a better world each day. His leadership role was widely known for his strive of facing difficult odds each time he had an opportunity.

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His best example is his accomplishment in promoting the fact of taking the first man to the moon, something nobody thought it could be impossible at the time. This proves his eager to make the best possible even from things that don’t seem to be possible to be accomplished. . Kennedy was against war: he opposed to attack Cuba and did not approve the use of nuclear weapons. Barack Hussein Obama was elected president on 2009 over republican John McCain. Similar to Kennedy, Obama’s leadership style has been recognized as charismatic, due to his promises of fixing the country in various way.

According to Weber, Obama inspires in his followers “complete devotion… arising out of enthusiasm, or of despair and hope. ” Instead of using power or authority, Obama has used empathy and sympathy to gain people attention. This has helped current president Barack Obama have a great potential when dealing with domestic and foreign affairs with other countries. During his presidential campaign, he promised he would retire the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. In the equality view both leader defended and worked for it. Kennedy was a supporter of the Civil Rights, expressing it throughout his speeches.

When he became president African American people were living in a “non-equal environment”, where they could not vote, sit on the same places as the rest of the peoples and also, when searching for jobs they were discriminated. Kennedy worked hard to eliminate or reduce the strong differentiation people had towards African American people. During his presidency he secured the early release of Martin Luther King and was the first president to include African American people in administrative roles. He supported the “Freedom Riders”.

The same as Obama who has proven by becoming president, the existence of equality of opportunities in the United States. He has worked actively in the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” campaign, in which people in the army are not accepted by their sexual attraction but by the willingness they have to protect their country. Also, through his campaign he stated several times, he was going to make possible same sex marriage. He gave a speech at the Human Rights Campaign Gala, to which he address to the largest gay community. Obama and Kennedy both made changes towards a more just country.

When Kennedy arrived to the presidency, he changed the Federal Reserve System. For him, it appealed as if the system was easily used for corruption. He started gaining money to rule the country, which he stated belonged to the people. Obama has also started to make changes in benefit of justice. He proposed changes towards a more friendly immigration policy. He proposed the improvements on the federal bench and Department of Justice. Another aspect, in which both can relate, is the willingness they had to protect freedom around the world.

In his acceptance speech, Kennedy said “I can assure you that every degree of mind and spirit that I possess will be devoted to the long-range interests of the United States and to the cause of freedom around the world. ” But one the main causes he worked for, was the freedom of the African American people in his country, he said they could not hope for freedom in other countries when their people were not completely free. That is one of the reason he worked for the acceptance of the Freedom Riders, and to get equal rights of freedom to everyone. Freedom to work, vote, ride a bus and get education was some of the things that he worked for.

Work Cited

Galaxy Evolution Explorer. California Institute of Technology. 12 Feb. 2011. HYPERLINK “http://www.galex.caltech.edu/index.html” http://www.galex.caltech.edu/index.html Nasa. Current Missions. 12 Feb. 2011. HYPERLINK “http://www.nasa.gov” http://www.nasa.gov

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