Personal and Interpersonal Character Traits of Theodore Roosevelt
US history is filled with controversial events and personalities that are approved and appreciated by some people and criticized by others. The personality of Theodore Roosevelt has always been actively discussed by scholars, who kept highlighting his positive and negative traits. Undeniably, not all of his actions and decisions were right, but history remembers Theodore Roosevelt mainly as a hard-working, determined, and goal-oriented man.
Theodore Roosevelt served as the 26th president of the United States of America from 1901-1909 on the Republican ticket. The article by Edmund Morris describes the character traits of this man, some of which made him the great president he was. Despite being born asthmatic, Theodore fought through ranks to become the youngest president of the US in history at forty-three years. This paper describes and analyzes the traits described in the article and how beneficial or detrimental they were to his presidential ambitions.
Irrespective of all the negative comments and contradictions, the personality of Theodore Roosevelt remains legendary and timeless. It took much time and effort for him to come from a curious child to an ambitious young man and to a boisterous adult. Consistency, hard work, dedication, and burning desire to help people are the most typical features that helped him become a kind man and a successful politician. Additionally, it is indispensable to highlight that Roosevelt had numerous hobbies and interests, such as swimming, reading, writing, judo, polo, hunting, hiking, tennis, boxing, and others that helped him stay active, healthy, and prosperous in the most different aspects.
The article describes Theodore as likable and irresistible. He was a huge person physically and Morris describes him as equal to two combined strong men, and with an appetite enough for four people (92). However, the article indicates that it was his personality that was more appealing than the physical phenomenon. Various writers describe him as having a compelling sweetness that is irresistible (Morris, 93). Additionally, this attribute, coupled with his powerful personality made an impression that his ideas were not to be doubted. Morris also indicates that in some instances, even his fiercest political rivals could not resist him in person. Despite Henry Adams, one of his critics, spending much of his time insulting the presidency of the time, he would frequently accept dining invitations at the white house. Theodore would also frequently insult his officers to castigate their poor performance. However, according to Morris, he would collapse into laughter as he uttered these insults even when it was a serious matter, which made them less offending (94).
The character described above is ideal for a man seeking the presidency. Just his physical appearance, as described, was commanding in nature. His likable personality was good in creating a self-image that made people naturally drawn to him and his ideas (Cooper and Gould). Theodore’s likeableness appears to portray the signs of a charismatic leader which is critical for a country’s president. The fact that he had a conviction that that was easily sellable to his followers means that the implementation of suggested policies was swift. According to Cooper and Gould, such leaders, through their characters, can influence their subordinate officers to carry on their vision even when they are not present. For a US president, Theodore's character was crucial as he would not have a hard time commanding people around. Also, his way of castigating poor performers through insults said lightly made him attached more to his officers. This way, even in his absence, he would not fear of a collapse of business.
Apart from being an excellent manager, Theodore Roosevelt was an impressive performer who knew how to accomplish the most challenging and responsible tasks. The ability to understand people and accept their perspectives was appreciated in the community and contributed to his flawless reputation. However, apart from the impeccable leadership qualities, Theodor Roosevelt had a genuine ability to listen to people, emphasize and sympathize with them. It is inevitable to mention that he was a man filled with love and positive energy. At the same time, Roosevelt was a person who didn’t deny mistakes and did everything possible to gain control over them.
Theodore Roosevelt Leadership Traits
Positive personal traits of Roosevelt’s character interlaced with his professional features. Reserved, calm and cool-headed, these are the words that could describe Theodor Roosevelt as a statesman, reformer, and leader.
Another trait for Theodore that is described in the article is his aggression. The writer indicates that on dragging breath to his asthmatic lungs, he got a conviction to pin down the disease and conquer the world (Morris, 95). He believed in his ideas and the ability to fight all challenges in his way to achieving what he had planned. According to Morris, it is his belief in natural selection and determination to gain knowledge that he read big books. In his youthful stages, he once watched a tiny shrew devouring a mass of beetles, a mouse, and a huge snake. From then on, he employed his superior intelligence, alongside hard work, became a persistent theme in his literature works. He also took up blood sports in which he would gain pleasure for killing dangerous animals. Evidently, Theodore believed in getting anything he wished so long as he puts all efforts into it physically and mentally. He also believed in personal righteousness in his aggression. For this reason, Morris indicates that he had no violent incidences even in his childhood (95). Additionally, the deaths of his father, mother, and his wife in a period of six years convinced him more to remain honest, strong, and more industrious.
The aggressive trait was also evident in his presidency, and seemingly, attributable to his success. For a man with ambitions of being a president of the United States, there is a need to have the determination to achieve the dreams of her citizens and himself. The country, from time to time, faces challenges that may be demoralizing to the person in the highest office of the land (Cooper and Gould). For this reason, his desire to achieve was welcome for the presidency. The fact that he remained strong even after his mother and wife died on the same day is a character worth emulation for a US president. Additionally, his peaceful nature is ideal for international relations with other superpowers in the world.
So, who is Theodore Roosevelt? He is surely known to be a politician, explorer, soldier, and reformer. Additionally, the overwhelming majority of people know him as a leader of the Republican party and the President of the US. However, these are not the most important attributes of the man, as he has been the driving force of the country. Freedom, independence, and persistence were the core values of the statesman. At the same time, the man had enough courage and flexibility to adjust to the rapidly changing world.
Due to the inspiring and motivating personality, it was easy for Theodor Roosevelt to make friends, set relations, and attract the most different people. The broad outlook and impressive talent could help Roosevelt succeed in literally every sphere, starting from sales and advertising up to publicity and promotion. Not only his appearance but also his personality was always perfect.
Discipline, focus, and an ability to prioritize tasks were the keys to the prosperity of the politician. Although the success he reached cost him a lot, he never lost inspiration and desire to investigate new areas. In fact, it is hard to imagine a more determined, passionate, and goal-oriented man who loved everything about his life, family, and career.
The article, evidently, approves Theodore as a president of the US. As the writer concludes, he indicates that although some people were displeased with Theodore’s presidency, it is because of his readiness to antagonize a large minority for approval by the majority citizens (Morris, 100). His personality of being likable, aggressive, and determined was maintained throughout his tenure making his presidency a success. I also agree with the article on the traits of Theodore and his leadership strategies. He was determined to make the country great and accordingly, he issued over one thousand executive orders, as many as those of his predecessors combined (Cooper and Gould). He is known to have placed the presidency at center stage of making policies and his insistence on the significance of the character of the public officers. In my opinion, given his ambitions to fight challenges, I believe that his presidency was a success.
Cooper, John Milton and Lewis L. Gould. “The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.” The American Historical Review 97.2(1992): 629. Web.
Morris, Edmund. Theodore Roosevelt, President. Modern Library, 1981.
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