Comparing Leadership Styles: Eisenhower and Kennedy

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With the end of World War Two and the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, the United States emerged on the global stage as one of the planet's great economic and military powers. It is safe to say that with America's change in status, and in conjunction with profound industrial and technological change, that presidential leadership would necessarily have to transform yet again to meet a new era; nowhere could two different styles of leadership to meet the age be seen than in the Cold War administrations of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. Both men would exhibit a unique style of leadership suited to the personality of each, and each style could be considered to characterize the administration of each president, but nevertheless, both men would also use very similar leadership styles when necessary in order to attain certain policy goals. Eisenhower's signature leadership style has been characterized as a "hidden hand" sort of style, a style which suited him well in his capacity as the Supreme Allied Commander of European forces in World War II. Indeed, many of Eisenhower's contemporary commentators viewed him as "above the fray" or as a "do nothing" executive who preferred to remain aloof from events as history marched on by. With this "hidden" type of statesmanship, Eisenhower favored remaining behind the scenes as it were, and direct politics and policy without regard for earning credit--though when necessary, as when he ordered the 101st Airborne into Little Rock
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