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leaders. Who were these leaders, and in what way did they lead? In what ways were each of these dependent on capable followers ?
7. Explain why much preparation is needed for leadership and draw on historical characters for illustrations. Get at least one illustration from European history: Napoleon, Gambetta, Dante, Gladstone, or some other character.
8. Select the leader of the past or present whom you most admire, and learn every fact obtainable about his early life and the step-bystep approach to his useful work.
9. What is the difference between character and reputation? Show that both are helpful to a leader but that only one is necessary.
10. Who are several of the leaders your state has had who must have learned something about the "loneliness of leadership”? Learn all that you can about one of these. Discuss the phrase "the greater the leader, the greater the loneliness.”
11. Discuss the qualifications for naval leaders given on page 237. Are these the same qualifications that every kind of leader should have ? Be prepared to discuss this point by point. To the leaders that you selected from your special study in exercises 8 and 10, apply the test of this outline.
12. Why does college training help young people to get a better preparation for leading than high school alone can give ?
13. From recent history give instances of "drivers.” Discuss the difference between drivers and leaders.
14. Make out a list of the qualifications for good followers similar to the list of leadership qualifications given on page 237.
15. Assume that there has been a disastrous fire in one section of your community which destroyed the homes and the school buildings of many pupils. Let the class choose a leader and make plans for dealing with the emergency.
16. Organize the class into a chamber of commerce or similar organization and let this come to the assistance” of the homeless section. For the purposes of the civics work it would be well if this organization could be maintained until this text is completed. At this time let the pupils as members of the chamber discuss some local emergency (either actual or imaginary) and form plans for meeting this. The real leader will be the one with the best idea and the best plan for working out the idea.
THE KIND OF LEADERS AMERICA HAS
1. Judging a Nation by its Leaders. To understand any nation one must know about its leaders, what kind of men they are and what they try to accomplish. Therefore to know our own United States we must learn about our government leaders and leaders in work, education, and helpfulness. Our government leaders are those directly or indirectly selected by the people. These are not more important than many of the unofficial leaders, but they have been deliberately chosen by the people and therefore show what kind of leaders the people want.
2. The Presidents our Most Conspicuous Leaders. Conspicuous among the nation's leaders are the president and his secretaries, the cabinet. The presidents are common men, men of the people, who for a few years drop the work by which they earn their living to do the hardest work of their lives in the modest White House in Washington. In comparison with the other nations of the world no country has had so matchless a succession of presidential leaders as has the United States, when measured by both ability and character. Some presidents have been dreary mediocrities; some of them have been only commonplace. A few of them have had frightful tempers. But Americans boast that they have never had a bad president, never a president who has intentionally betrayed his trust. Never has the United States had a president like Napoleon III of France, whom our minister described as "short and stocky, he moves with a queer, sidelong gait, like a gouty crab-a man so wooden looking that you would expect his voice to come rasping out like a watchman's rattle. ... Eyes sleepily watchful ... like servants looking out of dirty windows and saying, 'Nobody at home,' and lying as they say it."
There is no magic in the word "president,” however. In the World Almanac is a page of "Rulers of the World," in which "president” occurs thirty-three times, and other titles only twenty-one times. Until the United States made its constitution no nation had a president. But the shrinking list of kings and emperors and the growing list of presidents does not mean that all kings are holding their nations back and all presidents leading their nations forward. A president may be an incompetent person, even an ignorant one, incapable of real leadership or efficiency. Of the twenty-four presidents who held office in Haiti from the beginning of the republic to 1903, many were accused of cannibalism, and few of them could read or write. Such presidents were incapable of preventing rioting and bloodshed.
As we have said in an earlier chapter, a government is really a set of laws expressing the wishes of the people and a group of men chosen to carry out these wishes. The president is merely one of the people who carry out the wishes of the people. What Washington or Lincoln or Roosevelt did as president was only what thousands of the plain people wanted done and would themselves have tried to do if they had been president. The same is true of the Haitian presidents. It was not only the presidents who were ignorant and inefficient, it was thousands of the Haitian people also. As late as 1915 it was estimated that less than 3 per cent of the Haitians could read and write. The secret of the American presidents lies in the common people. The president represents their hopes and aspirations. If they expect him to be upright, self-sacrificing, leading the way to a better nation, he will try with all the strength that in him lies to be such a leader.
3. Some of the Problems confronting the President. Every person would be a better American if in imagination he could become president of the United States for a day. It is almost staggering to imagine waking each morning to feel that you are custodian of forty-eight states and of the welfare of more than 105,000,000 people. The president must have a more complete knowledge of geography, history, and current events than can be gained in any college course. He must know not only the United States of five years ago but enough about the Idaho of today to meet the governor of that state and talk helpfully about the problems that confront him, enough of California to meet a delegation of its business men and discuss with them the Japanese-immigration problem.
4. The President's Day. To be sure the president has a large number of helpers whose work it is to gather and keep such information ready for instant use. The greatest storehouse of information in the United States is in Washington. But the president must have a first-hand general knowledge of all the matters that are vital to the welfare of the people, else he cannot rightly lead the nation. The demands made on him for leadership are never-ending. Here is a page from the diary of President Taft, showing what a typical White House day was at that time. The numbers in parenthesis refer to the list of powers and duties of the president as given on page 249. With the exception of those callers who came merely to pay their respects, it can be assumed that each person or delegation looked to the president for leadership in something.
6:45 A.M. Rises. 35 to 40 minutes of exercise in the White House gym
nasium, 9:30 to 10:00. Mail. 10:00 to 1:30. Representative Moon and about 30 boys from Girard College
respects. [This delegation of boys had called on the President not because he was an executive but because he was the nation's leader.]
Representative Butler and committee of three of Society of
Friends — to present memorial. [The Society of Friends had sent this committee to the President with a petition calling on the President as leader to use his influence to accomplish a certain thing.]
T. J. Dolan, P. J. Morrissey, and committee of railroad train
men. (8) (9) (10) [The committee of railroad trainmen may have come to consult the President because of any one of his powers represented by (8) (9) (10), in all of which it would be Taft the leader that was sought.]