Personality Traits of John F Kennedy

John F Kennedy Charismatic Personality

A charismatic theory enables people to influence others as well as influence our external environment. Being charismatic means that one is assertive and it is a force of human personality which can be understood, measured as well as developed. Charisma is good as it can be used to inspire others. John Kennedy had the ability of a leader and could exercise diffuse as well as intense influence over his followers.

As the 35th US president, John F. Kennedy was known to be a very charming and charismatic person. In fact he was admired more for his charismatic personality. Kennedy had articulated his vision for change that had brought a constituency to identify itself as his followers and had aroused many more people. He was able to transform the preferences, values, and needs of his followers. Kennedy could motivate his followers to serve the interest of the larger collective. According to Weber, a new genre of leadership theory merged in the 1970s that invoked visionary, inspirational and symbolic behavior. The new genre, christened charismatic leadership theory, attention shits to exceptional leaders like John Kennedy who had extraordinary leadership qualities that have an effect on their followers and later on social systems.

To be an outstanding president of the United States John Kennedy needed to be charismatic to overcome his stereotype- based barriers though garnering political power. He was able to do this by always connecting emotionally with his followers even by using nonverbal skills. Be charisma means he was able to use facial displays of whatever feelings he had which are naturally expressed almost all the time as though everything in his environment was a stimulant. This was the reason that enabled him to achieve enormous popularity as a US president.

The personality seems to have one loop hole. Charisma led John Kennedy to become a compulsive womanizer or sexual addict. His pursuit became sexual gratification which became automatically intertwined with quest for power, a scenario that becomes a task for the psychologists to explain. John Kennedy utilized his charismatic personality to seek whatever he could not get from his genuine or rather intimate connection between him and his people. That is probably how he also fell into the trap of being a compulsive womanizer, a habit which is private and limited to a few individuals. It is also likely that their womanizing behavior which is mainly a weakness of charismatic leaders became a means of expressing the rage harbored for many years against his mother and these women as a result of being abandoned and neglected early in his life (Bloland, 2000).


John F Kennedy Introversion Personality

Introversion can be defined as being a person who gains a lot of energy from being alone but whose energy is reduced when he/she is with others. There have been many introversion leaders in the history of America and John F. Kennedy is one of them. As an introvert and a leader, Kennedy had a lot of grit and had to learn to roll with punches in an extraverted world. As an introvert, Kennedy was thought oriented and could seek the depth of knowledge within himself.

Kennedy once remarked himself as being an introvert, he was said to be thoughtful, intelligent, creative as well as interesting and comfortable to be with. Introverts are gifted and their time alone improves their talents and gifts. This did not mean that Kennedy was shy, it is just that he preferred to stay alone and think how to run the country with no external interference.

To this president, everything is simply possible because he was full of ideas to negotiated whatever he wanted with anybody whom he believed would give him what he wanted to achieve. It was very easy for the introvert John F Kennedy to discern inner pattern forms which he would then operationalize using materials in the real world. Many believe he was an idealistic leader who embodied not only the best values of his country, but also almost every virtue. For instance, he never lost his temper and had an unusual ability of handling his critiques a reason why he many times faced the editors with complaints of stories in the news which he found to be critical to him. That is why he tried to eject David Halberstam, a correspondent with the The New York Times from office in 1963 but failed. David was guilty of writing flattering stories about the president.

As an introvert, President Kennedy was a peacemaker and this is why he chose a diplomatic approach in relationship with other nations such as solving disputes in various foreign lands. This he did by ending war in the war-tone areas until peace prevailed. Quite characteristic of introversion leaders, President Kennedy did not have to rely on so many protocols and meetings to address the miscalculation problem that was the root cause of conflicts with other nations but relied on his own hard work. The reason why the introversion President performed all of his duties single handedly is because he feared failure hence his focus had to be achieving whatever he intended and that nobody’s influence thwarted his plans. One of such achievements was the successful creation of the Immigration and Nationality Act which he signed into law in 1965. This important step partly saw the civil rights policies renewed  and discrimination that was quite prevalent then abolished.



It is important that we understand the personality of people and psychological theories only help us understand the personality from a better perspective. This is because psychological theories can help us understand by empirical evidence especially if they are scientifically sound. Therefore, this means that psychological theories can only help us increase our understanding of personality; that personality cannot be understood better by psychological theories only if they can be tested or proven. However, some there are experimental forms of psychology that are useful.

It is however worth noting that much about personality domain remains largely unknown but the best explanation related to personality comes from theories related to personality. Benefits of the Personality Psychology include being able to adapt to changes in our society and the environment, help people to clarify about their academic goals, as well as improve self esteem and self actualization.

The personality of President John F. Kennedy is ranges from being a charismatic to an introversion person. His upbringing might have played an important role in nurturing this personality because after abandonment by his mother, he had to find a way of creating a good rapport with the people around him. This required him to be charismatic which enabled him to be a darling for many people especially women.


















House, J. R., Spangler, W. D. & Woycke, J. Personality and Charisma in the U.S. Presidency: A Psychological Theory of Leader Effectiveness. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 36, No. 3

Bloland, S. (2000) Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy: The dark side of charisma. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 10(2), 285-289. Doi: 10.1080/10481881009348541

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