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Elizabeth Bloomer Ford (“Betty”) was a wife of the 38th President of the United States Gerald Ford. She was stated to be an influential figure in American society. Betty participated in several social campaigns, playing her role as the First Lady. Due to her sincere and open personality, self-awareness, and morality, she became an authentic leader who was able to take advantage of even from negative life events and transform them into the welfare of the community.
Description of Betty’s Leadership
Betty Ford was a public personality who had a significant impact on society. She could be considered a real authentic leader. Betty had all the qualities, required for this type of leadership: openness, transparency, morality, and self-awareness. As a leader, she was fighting for women’s rights in the American community, in particular, for the level of women’s employment increase. Besides, she frankly expressed her opinion on such controversial questions as abortion, marijuana use, and premarital sex. These questions were discussed among people in society but Betty was brave enough to discuss it openly. Her candor and a strict position immediately attracted people, and her popularity increased.
Critical Life Events and the Leadership Development
Betty was a strong personality who remained a leader, even suffering from the diseases. During her life, she faced several challenges which affected her personality and her leadership development. Betty did not try to hide adverse crucial life events, such as breast cancer and drugs and alcohol addiction. On the contrary, she told me about these events honestly and with details. She used her personal problems as an exhortative narrative for other people, trying to alert them and to focus their attention on possible social questions. It could be claimed that Betty became an example for people in society, in particular, for women who could suffer from similar issues but were not able to talk about it and to get help.
A Moral Dimension of the Leadership
It is stated that an authentic leader should be a personality with high morality. At first, a leader should accept all the moral issues of one’s leadership and then express it to other people. It is impossible to be a candor authentic leader and to hide moral defects. Thus, Betty did not try to hide them. It is difficult to assert that her moral dimension was completely clear. She had several drawbacks, such as alcohol addiction, and her morality was rather controversial. However, she made her weak sides to serve the common good. In particular, she openly told about her alcohol and drug abuse, trying to alert others. Betty attracted the attention of society to the problem of women’s alcohol addiction which was underestimated. Thus, it could be stated that Betty used the power of her leadership to serve the common good which is, probably, the most important quality of an authentic leader.
Betty’s Self-Awareness and Transparency
Another important quality of an authentic leader is self-awareness. Probably, it is essential for a leader to understand own benefits and drawbacks, desires, and needs. Betty was a self-aware person who listened to herself carefully. Therefore, she was able to notice her problem and was brave enough to express them in public. It could be supposed that for Betty, self-awareness led to the understanding of others. Probably, Betty realized that the challenges that she faced are common, and she could use her leadership power to help the community. Her transparent nature allowed transforming personal issues into socially relevant questions.
Thus, it could be concluded that, as a public personality, Betty Ford had a significant influence on American society in the 1970s. In particular, her actions were important for women fighting for their rights. Betty’s openness and candor attracted public attention and helped people to understand urgent women’s problems. Betty did not separate her personal issues and problems from her social activity which made her an influential authentic leader.