S6 Ep 12: Leader Analysis Series

Jimmy Carter

Bram Connolly and Trent Burnard continue their Leadership Analysis Series. During this series Bram and Trent forensically analyse leadership styles throughout history and attribute them with a score for different facets of leadership. By doing this, they hope to find knowledge, skills and attributes that modern leaders may, or may not want to emulate.

This week on the WarriorU Podcast, they analyse American President Jimmy Carter. Born on the 1st October 1924 in Plains, Georgia, Jimmy began life as a peanut farmer before his progressive politics lead him to becoming the Governor of Georgia from 1971-1975 and President of the USA from 1977-1981. His Presidential vision for America was to foster world peace and promote human rights abroad whilst achieving economic, political and social harmony and equality domestically in the midst of economic and social disruption.

Leadership Analysis

Inspiration and Motivation – Score: 3/10

  • Carter used his image as a humble, honest, everyman to connect to the vast majority of Americans
  • He refused to ‘play ball’ with the more underhand tactics of Congress and was seen as a leader of principle and integrity
  • However he failed to inspire and motivate people to support his vision for America
  • Towards the end of his Presidency he was seen as increasingly out-of-touch and his gentle touch to politics was seen more as a weakness than source of strength

Providing Purpose and Direction – 3/10

  • Sought to internationally foster peace and promote human rights whilst domestically repairing the economic and political divide
  • Was initially successful internationally with the Camp David Accords, Panama Treaties and SALT treaties, the Departments of Education and Energy and mending the political divide
  • However, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979 and Carter’s lacklustre response saw him perceived as weak and turned people against his soft touch vision
  • Domestically, Carter failed to revive the economy, inflation and interest rates along with fuel shortages and rationing and failed to mend the growing social and political divide
  • These failures turned people towards the more conservative and strong-willed Reagan and saw Americans abandon their support for Carters vision for America

Effectiveness of Leadership Style – 3/10

  • Carter utilised leading by example, delegation and collaborative styles of leadership throughout his Presidency
  • His collaborative style initially saw success internationally, however allowed the Soviets and Iranians to take advantage of this to advance their interests
  • Collaboration with Congress failed due to Carter refusing to ‘play ball’, and as such Congress blocked Carters progressive initiatives
  • Used delegation to make presidential power more of a force for guidance rather than command, however this saw him unable to cohesively and effectively lead America
  • His leading by example style did initially create a connection between him and the people, yet it also saw people perceive Carter as shifting blame onto the public and being too weak to lead…


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