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What makes a good leader? Is it visionary thinking? Robust communication skills? A hands-on leadership style? A knack for nimble decision-making and problem-solving? In fact, great leaders possess all of these important qualities. From politicians to teachers to business leaders, people in leadership roles excel when they exhibit traits both innate and learned.

One way to study leadership traits is to examine how they manifest in leaders on the front lines of world affairs. Few leadership positions are as influential as that of the president of the United States, and by studying some of the people who have held the office of U.S. president, you can learn what bottom line qualities turned them into better leaders. As a biographer and historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin knows exactly which good leadership qualities are essential to the U.S. presidency.