Leadership in the Movie Thirteen Days Essay

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Movie Review: Thirteen Days

April 20, 2013


The movie Thirteen Days is based off of the real life situation of the Cuban Missile Crisis that occurred back in 1962. The United States learned that the Soviet Union was placing missiles with nuclear weapons in Cuba. The movie follows President John F. Kennedy and his advisors as they are trying to come up with a plan of action for how to handle the situation.

The missiles are positioned to be close enough to hit almost any city in the United States and capable of killing nearly every citizen. The Joint Chiefs of Staff advise immediate U.S. military strikes against the missile sites followed by an invasion of Cuba. The President is reluctant to attack because he fears it
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He follows his intuition. An example would be when the Russian leader said that the missiles were merely for defensive reasons, not an offensive tactic, he trusted his intuition that he was lying. The President has the ability to inspire. Not only did he have to make an executive decision on a course of action, he also had to convince others that this was the best thing to do. He showed commitment. He was concerned about making public appearances instead of working on the problem. He was dedicated to finding a solution so that millions of Americans would stay safe. President Kennedy was a great example of a leader for all of these reasons.

Kenny O'Donnel is also a good example of a leader. Although his title was only assistant to the President, he had some moments that were "behind the scenes" so to speak that were important to the outcome against the crisis. Kenny was good at inspiring others to keep working towards a solution when things were looking bad. Through his commitment to the cause, his attitude and determination were contagious and I believe that was reflected in his relationship with others. This was especially true with his relationship to the President. Kenny seemed to know the right things to say to keep the President encouraged and hopeful to find a solution. Kenny was also very honest, which is another good quality of a leader. Kenny had an advantage of not having anything to lose because of his
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