John Fitzgerald Kennedy for me is / was the quintessential leader. He was a life long learner, always curious, ready to look at a situation through someone else’s eyes. True leaders are always first of all learners. JFK read widely, asked questions widely, gave his opinions and listened to the answers. He was an innovative thinker, synthesizing all the information he gathered into new possibilities. He was a consultor, presenting his ideas and enjoying the process of explanation, defense and rebuttal. There were no yes men in the Kennedy cabinet.
He also understood both the process and products of government at many levels, and only put his foot wrong early on in his administration, by listening just to the military about the Bay of Pigs disaster. Jack would not have proudly called himself The Decider, though he was always willing to take the responsibility. He was proud of being the leader of a team the likes of which we have not seen for many years. And it was his leadership and courage that made it so.
And that made us proud of our country, and willing to sacrifice on its behalf.