Leadership is a quality that Americans always look for in a president. United States Presidents have an extreme amount of responsibility. Americans look for someone that can help our country grow. We look for someone who has charisma, strength and intelligence. George W. Bush had a very interesting presidency. It was filled with joy, turmoil and disaster, all which were times where a leader could either succeed or fail.
George W. Bush was the 43rd President of the United States. He had all of the qualification of a great president. He came from a political family. He was the son of former President George H.W. Bush. He had a great educational and military background. He graduated from Yale University and then Harvard Business School.
He was a pilot for the Air National Guard for six years. He worked in the oil industry after college where he was known for his smart business decisions. He served in Texas’ House of Representatives and then Governor of Texas. Most American’s would probably believe that all of these qualifications would make him a great candidate for President and in 2000 he was elected President, defeating Al Gore by only small margin. (Bush 3)
Choosing George W. Bush
I chose to research and analyze President Bush because he was president during the biggest attack on American’s during my lifetime. He had to step up and become the great leader that our nation needed during and after the terrorist attack on September 11th, 2001. President Bush is still being blamed for some of the problems that America is having now. President Obama blames him for the economy and many American’s have blamed him for our continued presence in the Middle East.
I wanted to research his leadership abilities and understand why he went from being a so-so President to a great president to a president that is being blamed for everything. I also see President Bush as a normal person with strengths and weaknesses. I see him as someone similar to myself. I want to better understand him and learn from his achievements and his mistakes.
President Bush was not a born leader. Even though President Bush had the resume that American’s thought would make him a great leader, at the beginning of his presidency, he was lacking some of the key qualities of a good leader. He did not show confidence in his decisions and he lacked the understanding of international affairs. (Domin 3) After the tragedy of September 11th, he really stepped up and took on his leadership role.
He was able to show America that he was the leader that they thought that they would be getting in an American President. President Bush was able to bring his followers together in a time of tragedy, uniting them for a common goal. He was able to leave all of the criticism that he had gotten behind him and become a new leader that everyone respected.
In addition, I wanted to research President Bush because many of the international problems that America faced during President Bush’s terms are still lingering today. American lives are still at risk because of terrorist groups. It was only a couple of months ago that the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was attacked by terrorist killing the US Ambassador and three others. I question the effectiveness of our current administration and their ability to keep America safe. (Kirkpatrick, and Myers)
Abilities and Skills
Even though President Bush was not a great leader from the beginning, I believe that he was able to step up and become the great leader that we needed him to be. He embraced the necessary abilities and skills that America needed in a leader after a crisis. The first and most important characteristic that he possessed after September 11th was emotional intelligence. He understood the severity of the situation and was able to address the public in a way that helped us come together as a country.
Woodward made this comment about how President Bush addressed the public in front of Ground Zero. “Bush’s spontaneity allowed him to connect at a visceral level with his audience: acting simultaneously as their leader and expressing their feelings in the highly charged atmosphere of the time.” (Roper 5)
I believe that President Bush also encompasses the four characteristics that describe a creative leader. President Bush faced one of the biggest obstacles of any President and he had the self-confidence to lead. (Nahavandi 115) Thousands of innocent Americans had been killed through a
terrorist attack. He knew that America was entering a time of war.
Even though many of his advisors were unsure of the decisions to attack Afghanistan, he was strong about his beliefs and he gave reassurance to his advisors. A reporter who was present during the National Security Council meeting before the initial attacks in Afghanistan noticed the tension in the room before President Bush was present but said that, “the tension suddenly drained from the room.” (Roper 5)