Analysis Of The Leadership Traits Of Ronald Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan served as the 40th United States’ President. His White House path was a unique one. He worked as a sports announcer on radio, television host, as well as a movie actor in Hollywood. He later shifted to the political environment, while he was elected in 1966 as California governor where he served for eight years. He contested for the presidential seat unsuccessfully between 1968 and 1976. However, in 1980, when the U. S. faced immense foreign policy and economic challenges, he emerged the winner of presidential nomination by Republicans while contesting with George H. W. Bush and other politicians. He was able to defeat Jimmy Carter during the elections. Reagan was perceived as a Great Communicator during his two-term in office. He managed to reduce taxes, boost spending on defense, negotiated with the Soviets to reduce nuclear arms, and facilitated in ending the Cold War faster. In this paper I will argue that President Reagan’s success came from five traits; commitment to values, courage and honesty, inspiring confidence, vision, and communication led him to stand out and realize extraordinary success.

Commitment to Values

Reagan exercised tremendous commitment to the values of the United States. He tolerated risk, respected obligation to the community, had a sense of wrong and right, and showed compassion to the disadvantaged members of the society. For Andrew (2018), he reveals that team members look up to their leader based on the actions undertaken. To ensure that subordinates have motivation of giving their all, leaders should ensure to remain committed to the tasks as well. This way, respect their leaders, giving them the strength of performing better. When the team members feel their leaders lack commitment, the leader would experience challenges in receiving the support of the followers. In this case, the commitment to American values thus led Reagan to receive the support of Americans in building the country.

Courage and Integrity

Reagan was also a courageous and intelligent leader. This became apparent when he emphasized on doing the right thing irrespective of the potential effect it had on his political endeavors. For instance, when it saw the 1981 threat, which controllers of air traffic posed aimed at leaving their jobs to reject the Taft-Hartley Act, Reagan instantly perceived the issue as a matter of duty, law, and public safety, hence ended up firing them. He did this despite being warned against aggravating organized labor, which would affect his political ambitions. In the viewpoint of Collins (2014), a major trait of supreme leadership entails having the courage of practicing integrity. Its absence would not contribute to success, irrespective of whether it is in the army, football field, office, or in a gang. Exercising integrity leads to a good leader. With such a move, Regan was paving the way for his followers to exercise integrity and honesty to ensure that America emerged successful.

Inspire Confidence

An additional leadership quality portrayed by Reagan was one of ability to inspire confidence. For Reagan, he managed to overcome his critics and trivialize his opponents. Despite the opposition by his political rivals, Reagan was able to explicate his policies to the citizens to allow them gain confidence in the appropriateness of the policies in the country. For Bjergegaard, Popa, & Hollis (2016), leaders face a major challenge when it comes to persuading others to follow. This becomes possible when leaders have the ability of inspiring followers by serving as a good example. In the event of challenges, the followers look up to their leader to understand how a situation is addressed. Handling it well allows team members to follow their leader in a relentless manner. In this vein, a leader needs to emphasize on thinking positive while the positive should prevail in the actions undertaken. By staying calm despite the existing criticism, Reagan maintained the confidence in his policies of Americans going.


Reagan also served as a visionary leader despite the existing criticism. He was able to envision on where he wanted the country to go by addressing the economic situation of the country. By the time he left office, he had revitalized the economy of the U. S. , restored the country’s global leadership position, restructured military capability, and revived the spirit of the people. He ensured that people received their freedom from oppression by leading the Cold War and facing the Soviet Union on diplomatic, moral, and military issues, which resulted to the implosion of the regime. In the perspective of Pirouz (2017), a leader needs to be a realist and practical while at the same time talking the language of idealist and visionary, which creates a balance. A leader needs to focus on the future and foster the vision while fostering purposeful practical realities and purposeful realities of the present. Reagan was good in exercising quality as evident by the end of his administration.

Good Communicator

Regan had the ability of communicating his vision to the people, Congress, and other political leaders in an exceptional manner, which guided his administration. Hasan (2017) stipulates that communicating vision to subordinates in a clear manner allow them to realize the set goals. Words provide the power of motivating individuals and leading them to undertake in unthinkable tasks. Using them effectively makes it possible to attain better results.


In conclusion, the leadership qualities that Ronald Reagan exercised allowed him to drive United States toward unbeatable progress during a time that the country faced immense challenges. His commitment to values, courage and honesty, inspiring confidence, vision, and communication led him to stand out and realize extraordinary success. In the event that other presidents follow Reagan’s, they would allow the U. S. to regain its position as the most dominant global player in diverse aspects, which it seems to have lost over the years.

29 April 2020
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