Traits of a Leader

What Makes a Good President?

Ryan Dube asked:

Each election year, the people of the United States of America are faced with the difficult decision of choosing the next President. Sometimes the selection is obvious. Other times it seems like there’s no good option, and it comes down to selecting the lesser of two or more evils. Whatever the case may be, Americans as a group who patriotically believes in the core principles and values, on which this nation was founded, generally look for particular core characteristics for what makes a good president. These characteristics are described here.

The Born Leader

Throughout society, there are people who fit into the role of leadership with ease. Whether it’s a corporate executive, a university President, or a Wall Street financial expert, these leaders are recognized by their ability to jump to the occasion, their flexibility and adaptability to overcome any obstacle, and their ability to encourage others to follow them. Finally, a good leader has the courage to stand up and make decisions without flinching, and then lead the way in that direction without hesitation. These are the traits that make a person a born leader.


Some people follow the rules because someone is watching. Other people follow the rules because it’s the right thing to do. But a third class of people follow only the rules that are moral and just, and they work to change the rules that are not. This third group of people are the ones who stand above the majority of society with their ability to recognize injustice within communities and government that have become socially acceptable even though they are wrong. A person’s ability to recognize injustice and immorality despite the general consensus of the day makes them truly responsible.


True courage is often difficult to spot. Most often it requires that a person is tested in battle. In those critical moments of life and death, this is when that trait either shines, or it becomes apparent that it never existed in the first place. Many soldiers will report that courage shows up in people who they never would have expected. While other people who they would have thought would be the most courageous, become whimpering fools under fire. It is for this reason that so many former military men became president in their later years. Once a person has been tested on the battlefield, there is no question whether or not they have the critical trait of courage that makes for such a great leader and President.

Merciful and Wise

While a good leader must be brave and courageous, a much more critical trait of a true leader is mercy and wisdom. This mercy should be reflected in an individual’s ability to see the humanity in every human being, regardless of race, creed, or nationality. And the wisdom is reflected in understanding the deeper cause of hatred and fear, and knowing the course of action that serves the greater good, even if it is not the best solution in the short term. Ultimately, when a leader has this kind of wisdom, the outcome of his or her decisions are always for the best, and the nation with such a leader will greatly prosper.

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