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The Leadership of Bill Clinton

The Leadership of Bill Clinton Special Topics in Leadership Authored by: Stephen Gage Estes MTSU

The Leadership of Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton has been a leader much of his adult life. His leadership roles include being the President of the United States of America, the governor of Arkansas, and a father. His leadership has affected millions of people in many different ways. He has had to adjust his leadership style according to the audience and the situation. In each leadership position he has held, there have been different types of audiences. It was Clintons responsibility to motivate the followers, lead the nation, and initiate change, even if it was not the easiest thing to do. Bill Clinton has held many leadership positions, most of which being political. By being a political figure, Clinton has an interesting relationship with his followers. In some cases his followers are the people in his presidential cabinet, but in the case of the nation that he leads, he has a more distant relationship with the citizens of the United States. There are many different situations where Clinton has had to use different strategies to motivate the followers. When he was the governor of Arkansas, he had to motivate the state government to push for educational reform. Clinton has high standards for education, and fairness to everybody. Part of the way he motivates is by having genuine leadership and by consistently advocating equal rights and education. His high level of education from Yale and Georgetown helped him set an example for what a person can make of themselves with an education. This made his push for higher levels of education in Arkansas more important to the followers. By being in a place of such high power, Clintons decisions and choices affected more people than a normal leader. This makes it hard to focus as much on individual needs, and puts more of a focus on the greater good for the country.

The Leadership of Bill Clinton

Clinton, being in so many high ranking positions, has spent much of his life being surrounded by people with high levels of motivation. His wife is a Yale graduate and many of the people that he had to deal with on a regular basis were very well educated. Most of the people he directly affects are either elected officials or his personal cabinet. The followers, in most cases, were motivated by Clinton to be the best they could and to make the world a better place for less fortunate people. By putting strong emphasis on improving the future through public policy, Clinton motivated his followers by promising a brighter future for themselves and their children after them. This is one of the reasons why Clinton had such a high approval rating.

During the time Clinton was President, he had some of the highest approval ratings and created a surplus in the budget. This required a lot of hard work, but he led by example and worked day and night to help fix some of the problems the United States had at the time. By creating the line-item veto, he created a new, more efficient way to pass bills. This made the policy making process easier and saved a lot of time. A lot of the changes during his presidency were rewarding because of the nature of the changes made. This made the followers more satisfied because they were able to make changes for the better, even though it required hard work. I think Clinton pushed his followers to be the best they could and make as much positive change as they could. When Clinton was governor of Arkansas, he cut millions of dollars from some budgets to reallocate them back to education. At first there was a lot of opposition to the reform, but now it is looked at as one of Clintons brightest accomplishments. Clinton has an amazing knack for vision and sharing that vision with his followers. One of the ways he shared his vision is though his State of the Union Address.

The Leadership of Bill Clinton

As president of the United States, Clinton spent a lot of his time influencing groups of people. Most of his interactions with the public were either through State of the Union addresses or through other forms of media such as the newspaper, television, and, in the latter years of his presidency, the internet. In his cabinet, each person had an individual job, but they were all organized to run like a machine. He was excellent at bringing everyone together and setting a clear vision to achieve the goal. The President of the United States is a position of influence and power, and Clinton used both power and influence to achieve what other presidents could not. One of the ways the President influences the Government the most is through his cabinet.

The President of the United States requires leading a nation, and creating a cabinet that can lead their respective branches of government. This is a very daunting task that directly impacts the effectiveness of the presidency. The cabinet members must also reflect the presidents values and vision. Everything that these people do is being watched and the cabinet members have very hard jobs that affect the way the nation operates. It is one of the Presidents biggest jobs making sure he has the right people in the right places, because these people are the administration. The President affects the cabinet, and the cabinet affects the President. It is important for the President to select his cabinet wisely. The Presidents Cabinet was comprised of highly educated people who, in most cases, had been involved in politics for quite some time. These members were highly qualified and skilled to do their respective jobs, and most of them had the same views as the President. By having a skilled group of people to lead the different branches of the government, Clinton was held to the highest standards and had extra pressure from his cabinet. The leader needs support from his

The Leadership of Bill Clinton

followers and that is just what he received. He also had unprecedented popular approval ratings for his job as president. (Beschloss )

Clinton pushed his cabinet to achieve more and they pushed him to achieve more. The cabinet and Clinton both achieved more because they supported each other and motivated each other. The President is very powerful position, with influence over many different followers.

The other set of followers that Clinton had was the population of America. As President, he had to think of not only what is best for the nation, but also what is best for the individuals that make up this great nation. The American public in the 1990s wanted to work and wanted to utilize new technology. By fixing the budget and creating a stronger market, Clinton was able to increase the amount of computers in schools and creating enough jobs that Unemployment at Its Lowest Level in More than 30 Years. (N.D) This helped educate people and provide people with jobs and housing. Children grew up using computers in school thanks to Clinton, so twenty years later, I think his administration met at least some of the needs of its followers. Around the time that Clinton became President, the generation of baby boomers were all his age or older. This is an important factor, because the baby boomers make up a large percent of the nation. Clinton was one of the last born in the baby boomer generation. This helped the American public align themselves with Clinton, because they shared a lot of similar values. Not everyone has the same values and thoughts as the President of the United States, so there are a lot of pressures that go along with the job.

The position of President of the United States gives the holder of the position a lot of power and authority. It is a very complex job with tons of demands that vary from day to day. It is a very stressful job and this stress can impact the Presidents well-being. When things go wrong,

The Leadership of Bill Clinton

the President is the easiest person to blame things on. This is because, in most cases, the person who is doing the blaming has no ties to the President, making him an easy person to point the finger at. With this level of authority and prestige, the President of the United States is always in the media spotlight. This causes a great stress and extra pressure to be perfect. It is logical to think that some of these pressures might have been what caused Clinton to have his affair. Because he had the affair Clinton was impeached, which caused much distraction and damage to the Clinton Administration. The President and his cabinet are in a culture where one must be professional, ethical, and educated. This creates a very professional environment, where people are held responsible for their words and actions. One of the many pressures of Clintons presidency was to create jobs. When Clinton took office, it was one of his goals to create jobs for Americans. After eight years, the results of President Clintons economic leadership are clear. Record budget deficits have become record surpluses, 22 million new jobs have been created, unemployment and core inflation are at their lowest levels in more than 30 years, and America is in the midst of the longest economic expansion in our history. (N.D.) It was important that he set a clear vision for America and that he did not falter from his plan. One of the most important parts of leadership is a clear vision, and with Clintons work ethic and drive he achieved most of his goals. Some of the goals he tried to accomplish where thwarted by opposing political parties and the amount of work and trial and error that it would require (healthcare). Due to the advances in technology during his administration, Clinton was able to use it to his advantage by creating jobs and bettering education.

The Leadership of Bill Clinton

During Bill Clintons Presidency, the internet went worldwide and the technology made a drastic jump. Clinton wanted to make sure that everyone in schools would have access to the internet for learning. Through budget cuts and increases in funding for education he increased the percentage of schools connected to the Internet from 35 percent in 1994 to 95 percent in 1999.(N.D.) It is impossible to calculate the difference in peoples lives that this made. This is an excellent example of how Clinton adapted to the situation around him to improve America.

There is no evidence of Clinton using the Normative Decision Model, but because of the way the government works, the followers were involved in the decision making process. Clintons high level of education and emphasis on improving life for the common man, made most of his goals very high priority. He had to weigh to pros and cons of each situation, while also having to deal with the acceptance of the decision. Being in such a high prestigious position, Clinton had to be as professional as possible at all times. He may have been more candid with his cabinet, but when dealing with Congress or addressing the public he had to be as mature as possible. He definitely had to adapt to many different situations and address each of those situations in different ways. In some cases, he might have been dealing with foreign affairs, where he would have to adjust his style because of the geological dispersion. Clinton showed us that hard work would pay off in his system, and the American people responded to his hard work by working hard themselves. Clintons hard work never showed more than his ability to turn our national deficit to a surplus.

When Clinton took over as President of the United States, the national budget was at a huge deficit. It was the highest debt the nation has ever experienced. President Clinton made it one of his primary goals to fix this deficit. This was done by creating the line-item veto and strict

The Leadership of Bill Clinton

budgeting and budget cutbacks. Many of the cutbacks and revisions made to the budget were strongly opposed by many. Being the one to make change is never easy, and most of the time there is someone there to fight you every step of the way, but he remained determined and turned the deficit into a surplus. During the Clinton Administration, we have seen eight consecutive years of fiscal improvement for the first time in Americas history.(N.D.) This change in the budget showed that Clinton was not only a very charismatic leader, but that he was also very smart and hard working. Bill Clinton is a very charismatic leader. According to Weber, charismatic leaders come from the margins of society and emerge as leaders in times of great social crisis (Hughes, Ginnet, Curphy, 2013, p.575). This is definitely the case for Clinton, who was born in a time of great change, born in a financially poor area, and became President when America needed change again. He is also a very experienced public speaker, who knows the importance of communication. Without clear communication, it is almost impossible for a leader to convey their vision to the group. Without a clear vision, a team loses steam and becomes less effective. Clinton also studied foreign affairs, and studied overseas at Oxford. This helped him when dealing with people from other cultures. His high level of charisma and hard work showed in not only foreign affairs, but also in his approval rating. Clintons Administration did an excellent job backing and supporting him during his Presidency. Their support and hard work encouraged him, just as he did to them. The American people supported him, which is obvious from his approval rating. The Clinton Administrations goals had clear results and helped improve the nation and the lives of its citizens. The followers in this situation were supportive, in most cases, and the result show. Bill Clinton wanted the best

The Leadership of Bill Clinton

for the people and the people wanted the best from him. The citizens and his cabinet pushed Bill and kept him motivated to change the world for the better.

In conclusion, Bill Clinton and his Administration did amazing things during their stint running America. It wasnt an easy job, but hard work and perseverance paid off. Clinton set a clear vision and reinforced it with his crystal clear communication. He wanted the best for people and the country and it shows through his support from his followers. He showed genuine leadership, respect to his followers, and set a standard for hard work. The amount of stress and pressure definitely affected Clinton, but that amount of pressure would affect anybody. We need to look at Clintons Administration for the good and the bad. Bill Clinton wanted to improve the lives of the everyday citizen whether that be through creating jobs, fixing the economy, or creating a surplus from a deficit. Clinton is an excellent example of leading by example.

The Leadership of Bill Clinton

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References Beschloss , M. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/williamjclinton (n.d.). Retrieved from http://clinton5.nara.gov/WH/Accomplishments/eightyears-03.html Richard L. Hughes - Robert C. Ginnett - Gordon J. Curphy - Leadership: enhancing the lessons of experience - New York - McGraw-Hill Irwin - 2012 - 7th Ed.