Class 2, Peer Review 2 Response
As identified by the author, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were strategic leaders. They possessed the essential skills and competencies of strategic leaders to their responsibilities of getting the right people aboard, symbolic communication, knowing self and their enemies, and applying strategic awareness. On strategic awareness, both had vision clarity as anticipation as a skill to know what to expect during the war. On this note, both of these leaders knew that the building of the atomic bomb could result in decisive results, especially against the Soviet Union that was trying to bring down Britain and considering the United States too. FDR, as the author details, was considering building the atomic bomb but trying to provide only a few details to Churchill, while Churchill was hopeful about the practicality of the atomic bomb that would bring the efforts of the Soviet Union to a halt (Gowing, 1989). They then aligned their efforts to bring this dream to reality while saving their countries and improving their relations while at it.
Both FDR and Churchill were great communicators. FDR was considered one of the 20th century’s greatest orators, so much so that he had fireside chats that led to the mailroom requiring 69 more staff members once he got into presidency (Yu, 2005). I, therefore, agree with the author that FDR was a strong communicator since his self-confidence made it possible for him to be convincing while still managing to overcome adversity. Unlike FDR, Churchill had to learn to be a master of communication (Bean, 2009). He mastered it so well that he was able to inspire people just through his speech, making him a strong communicator. He used a lot of proverbial language in his communication while ensuring that he communicated as clearly and simply as possible, and then explaining statements that might have seemed difficult (Axelrod, 2000). Both leaders excelled at communication, just like the author points out.
I agree with the author regarding Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill having a good understanding of their enemies and a good understanding of self. This would explain why they formed an alliance against Nazi Germany and Japan. They aligned well so that Britain gain an ally to help keep Nazi Germany at bay, thus stopping the war from ravaging Britain and America gained by keeping the Nazis out of the U.S. borders at all costs (Feis, 2015). Their friendship made it possible for the leaders to correspond back and forth via letters and meetings through which they were able to plan against possible attacks from enemies. As the author mentions, the leaders were united against the Soviets and more so against Japan, for which they had an atomic bomb developed just in case it was needed (Reynolds, 2006). Their united front kept the enemies at bay.
Churchill and FDR, on top of making an impeccable team, had picked out effective and efficient people to be on their governing teams, as the author identifies. The people behind were mostly those in their cabinets as well as those who advised them on various matters (Leutze, 1975). The leaders’ communication and agreement on the building of the atomic bomb took place between each other’s complex teams. This made it possible for strategic decision making to be done and great progress to be made in the process, both in their nuclear alliance and cooperation on various other matters, including during the World War II (Mclain Smith, 2008). Working with their teams made governance smoother, on top of being strategic leaders with their successes and failures.
Axelrod, A. (2000). The quotable historian: words of wisdom from Winston Churchill, Barbara Tuchman, Edward Gibbon, Julius Caesar, David McCullough, and more. McGraw-Hill Companies.
Bean, L. A. M. (2009). Roosevelt, Churchill, and the Words of War: Their Speeches and Correspondence, November 1940-March 1941.
Feis, H. (2015). Churchill-Roosevelt-Stalin: The war they waged and the peace they sought. Princeton University Press.Gowing, M. (1989). Britain, America and the Bomb. In British Foreign Policy, 1945–56 (pp. 31-46). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Leutze, J. (1975). The Secret of the Churchill-Roosevelt Correspondence: September 1939—May 1940. Journal of Contemporary History, 10(3), 465-491.
Mclain sMitH, D. (2008). the Missing piece to Building Great teams. Reflections, 9(1).Reynolds, D. (2006). From World War to Cold War: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the international history of the 1940s. Oxford University Press on Demand.
Yu, L. (2005). The Great Communicator: How FDR’s radio speeches shaped American history. The History Teacher, 39(1), 89-106.