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What Personality Traits Does A President Need?

Although there was no clear favorite throughout the campaign, America has made its decision for this presidential term! This time of year always brings about great discussion, be it at home in the sitting room or out having a coffee, about what the ideal president would look like. Alongside the president needs to have the skills, capabilities and knowledge to operate effectively within the role, there are also key personality traits which we would hope the president would possess. As the list could be endless, I decided to choose the top four traits i.e. jigsaw pieces I think are critical to operating effectively in this position……IF we could build an Ideal Presidential Personality Profile.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what these traits look like, let’s start off by defining what a personality trait is. They are defined as distinguishing qualities or characteristics that are the embodiment of an individual and would determine one’s patterns of behaviour, temperament and emotion. On the other hand, skills are the learned capacity to carry out specific tasks.

The Four Qualities are:


Charisma can be defined in many ways, however, it is frequently referred to as a rare quality of leaders to command a room and inspire an individual’s enthusiasm and devotion with their sheer magnetism. This friendly and pleasant demeanor can soften even the toughest critic. Even if you’re not described as a ‘people person,’ flashing a friendly smile during discussions can have great benefits, especially if you are president.


In order to successfully do any leadership role, never mind lead a country, people have to believe in the individual and their credibility. Image and identity are everything and the confidence people have in you, your mission, your reputation, and your beliefs and values are key to being a great leader. You have to persuade people of this — it doesn’t just happen.


A president needs to always draw attention to the positive aspects of a situation to the people. They need to cope well with any problem and bounce back quickly from any setbacks. As you can imagine a good few of these are bound to happen on the job. Although the individual may be suffering through an illness or have a lot going on in their personal life (bearing in mind this usually is splashed all over the papers) they still need to get their duties completed. There would be times whereby hurdles are thrown at them and it’s crucial for them to stay committed to goals, remain level-headed, keep positive, and put on a good show.


Inspiring people to see your vision is vital not only for one to be elected as President but also for people to be supportive of your action plans. If you want to make people feel invested in past accomplishments or future goals it is key for one to be enthusiastic about what’s to come. The President needs to be able to inspire people to focus on the positives of a situation i.e. the ‘unity of a country’, or at times where morale is low, just keep spirits up!

Just some food for thought when you’re sitting around the table in four years’ time!

Emma Woods

HR Services Manager

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group