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There are as many styles of leadership as there are leaders Johnson was much loved and greatly hated not just liked and disliked but adored by some and despised by others Some people remember him as kind generous compassionate considerate decent and devoted to advancing the well-being of the least advantaged among us Others describe him as cruel dictatorial grandiose and even vicious He had a compulsion to be the best to outdo everybody to eclipse all his predecessors in the White House and become the greatest president in American history Johnsons great strength as a leader was his superb understanding of the process of government specifically the legislative process That was the key to the landmark legislative program of his early years in office the Civil Rights Act of 1964 the Voting Rights Act of 1965 Medicare and aid to education He had spent his life in the House and the Senate and he respected the give-and-take of congressional politics He took seriously and understood the needs of each representative and senator and worked hard to build relationships with them Johnson for instance had almost a psychiatrists capacity to understand the people he was dealing with especially when he served in the Senate and how to translate colleagues needs into votes As president Johnson mastered one of the great skills of leadership knowing when to go forward with each of his goals Johnson was brilliant in small groups making deals with individual congressman making Congress feel part of a team effort He had an instinctive sense of timing that allowed Johnson to capitalize on dramatic moments and build on each success First he obtained enactment of the measures President Kennedy had been urging at the time of his death a new civil rights bill and a tax cut Johnson had an instinctive sense of timing about when to introduce a bill and which ones would create momentum rather than divisiveness for the
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