Visualising Leadership: What Can Charts and Graphs Tell Us About Leaders?


One way to understand leaders and leadership is through data-made famous, of course, by Nate Silver among others (see this comparative analysis of late-term US Presidential popularity).

Below are a few examples of how data analysis can help us to understand US presidents and in particular the upcoming 2016 election-see this piece on the 2016 Presidential Election in 16 charts. This extract tells us about key dates and the danger of the incumbency factors.


And a comparison of US Presidents use of Executive Orders, which is much as you would expect (see FDR and the table here)

excutive order by presidents

and, almost as interesting, the decline in the average reading level of Presidential speeches since the 1800s

presidential speech reading age

For the more historically minded, it seems that Virginia and Ohio offer the best chance of being President-this courtesy of here. Hillary, by the way, is from Illinois (like Ronald Reagen). For more 2016 data take a look at Sabatao’s Crystal Ball.

US Presidents by Birthplace

There is also a more historical Gantt chart of all US Presidents here that tell us, amongst other things, that

  • ‘The first 9 presidents represented 5 different political parties
  • Ever since Franklin Pierce took office in 1853, the presidency has been occupied by either a Republican or Democrat
  • Eight presidents that died while in office’

You can also see a similar chart of Indian Prime Ministers here– that tells us ‘Uttar Pradesh has given the country 8 prime ministers and other than two major political parties – INC and BJP, the longest rule was under the prime minister Morarji Desai of Janta Party. It was also the first non-Congress government of India’.