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John F. Kennedy: What Made Him a Good Communicator? Report

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Updated: Jun 2nd, 2022

In a process-based structure, an organization is fundamentally divided into its organizational units based on its core processes. Process is necessary for defining the industrial scope of the organizational and a process-based structure can implement these processes much faster. Various other processes can also be added to the existing units for their well organized and effective functioning. They have a very dissimilar structure than the traditional organizations eliminating the functional and product oriented problems faced by them. Having a process based structure makes the perspective of the organization completely customer oriented utilizing a horizontal business view in the various departments. The entire feature of this business-based communication depends on the organizational structure that is predominantly processed based depending on the issue of interdepartmental communication system, particularly for small urban companies. In a process-based structure, an organization is fundamentally divided into its organizational units based on its core processes and the fain feature is it ability to communicate. A good communicator is an essential element of success in this context (Andrad, pp. 103-120). Such a good example of a successful communicator is John F Kennedy.

JFK – the abbreviation is not an unknown one. It is known, well known and very well known to not only American but to the whole world. JFK stands for John. Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States who served the country from 1961 to 1963. He was the youngest President of the United States and the first Roman Catholic who stayed in his position for only 1000 days only till his assassination in 1963. Considered one of the greatest Presidents of the United States he had only one focus that was to see his nation in the driver’s seat of the world. The great leader had left no stones unturned in the process of fulfilling his dreams (Zimmer, p. 12).

Though he could not stay in the Presidential post for a long time as his life ended in the shocking assassination that stunned the world he showed qualities of a great leader and a very good communicator. He was the only US President to have won the Pulitzer Prize. His brief biography along with his qualities are described below which indicate why he became a good communicator from the perspective of business communication (Zimmer, p. 123).

John was born in such a well to do and influential background but he did not enjoy very good health. As a student also he was an average one but various kinds of sports attracted him. Those sports also became the reason for injuries several times to John and he had to undergo surgeries. One such injury had given him back pain throughout his life. He graduated from Choate in 1936. John joined the Harvard University along with his elder brother Joe. His interest in European politics first took shape when his father Mr. Kennedy was appointed the Ambassador of United States in England. John graduated from Harvard in 1940. John joined the Navy with his brother Joe as a duty towards the nation during the World War II. His brother was a flyer and was killed in a mission in Europe. John got the post of a lieutenant in PT – 109, the Patrol Torpedo boat that was deployed on the South Pacific as a patrol against the enemy ship that used to carry the ammunitions and food for the Japanese enemies. He had twelve crew members under him.

In 1943 the PT – 109 was crushed by a Japanese destroyer and John was again badly injured. But his bravery came in front every one when he in that injured state also led his team to safety. For that bravery he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps medal (Zimmer, p. 143). John took politics as his career after the war was over, mainly to keep the family pride up. That was the beginning. He became elected in the post of US Senate in 1952. He became popular for his work and was honored with the selection for high profiled posts like the post of the Vice president (Zimmer, p. 98).

John F. Kennedy became the 35th President and he was the youngest President ever for the United States. That was the beginning of the dedicated effort by the great leader to fulfill all the expectations that his fellow countrymen had from him. He also called his American brothers and sisters to do whatever they could for the nation but not to ask what they could get from the nation. He was in the Presidential post till 1963 when he was assassinated on November 22 (Zimmer, p. 54).

The colorful life till he lived of the great leader itself shows the qualities that made him a great leader. He had great courage, foresight and the instinct to fulfill his dream that he had visualized about bringing the United States to the foremost leading position of the world. The other qualities that he had included are the quality of clear communications because of which he became a great conversationalist too (Andrad, pp. 103-120).

John f. Kennedy was a good orator. He had great values incorporated in his character. He was always driven by reasons and not emotions. This was the quality that made his vision clear and practical. To be a good communicator expressing the views in a clear no nonsense way is extremely necessary. He used to think about certain circumstances which he faced in many angles like the consequences of a probable course of action. He analyzed the situations very clearly and reasonably and never was afraid to face any situation. He was extremely efficient with his work and also was the source inspiration motivation and reinforcement for others. His popularity was such that it was not limited to the United States and spread throughout the world, but he was not egocentric (Auster, pp. 16-244).

The clarity in his communications made him a good communicator. A good communicator got to have the five skills namely courage, conviction, wisdom, clarity and credibility. Now let us analyze them in terms of John F. Kennedy’s character (Auster, pp. 16-244).

Courage – the courage the great leader had was unquestionable. He was not at all afraid of facing any situation or to express his views in clear words, no matter whether they challenged the conventional wisdom or not.

Conviction – John F. Kennedy in deed believed what he said. He felt for his ideas strongly and he conveyed his ideas in clear terms to others also. That is why he could ask his fellow Americans to do their duty for the nation rather than expecting the nation to do anything for them. His communications were crystal clear.

Wisdom – the great leader knew that his views were correct and he had all the strategies to defend his ideas whenever necessary. In short, he knew what he wanted and what the nation and the countrymen wanted from him (Auster, pp. 16-244).

Clarity – President John F. Kennedy could convey his messages in a clear and concise way. He did not like to confuse people with complex combination of ideas. Rather his views and ideas were very well understood by the people. That is why he was a good communicator.

Credibility – This characteristic demands somebody to be trusted by others and stay confident even amidst criticisms. Clearly a President with such a huge popularity and strong character was trusted by huge number of people. People had seen how he had worked and how he felt for his nation and the fellow countrymen. There was no possibility that his credibility could be questioned. He had been credible and thus never had feared any criticisms (Andrad, pp. 103-120).

We have seen how the great leader and an excellent communicator had accumulated all those qualities that made him so popular and respected. He got those values from his life and from the love for his country. If viewed from the business communication perspective his communication skills and qualities are very much relevant in today’s complex world also. Efficiency in communication, which was the main positive point of President Kennedy, is extremely necessary for the success in business communication as well inefficient communication indicated the lack of cost efficiency. It is considered as wastage. The large companies therefore take care about choosing employees who are always efficient and precise in communication. Actually in today’s world it is more essential than that of the great leader. Today nobody has got the time to make out the inner meaning from an inefficient communication (Auster, pp. 16-244). So that is loss in business in that way.

If we consider the qualities that John F. Kennedy had, we have to admit that many of the business organizations would like to possess people with at least some of the qualities he had. His qualities, mainly the ability to convey things in crystal clear terms made him a great communicator.

Works Cited

  1. Andrad, Greg. “New evidence and perspectives on Business communication”. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 15.2 (2009): 103-120.
  2. Auster, Ellis. “The dynamics of communication waves: A three-stage conceptual framework with implications for practice”. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 38.2 (2008):16-244.
  3. Zimmer, Charles. The Life of JFK. Auckland: IPCL Press, 2008.
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