Governor Huckabee complimented the Romney Team for not engaging in any attempt to ‘manage’ his speech at the RNC. “They just told me to speak to what’s in my heart”, said the Gov. The Gov says that’s never happened to him before in other convention speeches where he had to defend and fight for every word.
The remark is telling, foreshadowing a leadership style we might expect under a President Romney. While not everyone shares my management philosophy or style, they were predicated on the idea that you assemble great people, insure they understand the strategic prerogatives and then………….unleash them. Correct as necessary, redirect as required and above all support and encourage what made them attractive to you in the first place. Engage, empower, sustain and recognize contributions.
There are requirements for this manner of management style. Ego must be under control. You must not stand in the spotlight when that spotlight should, justifiably, shine on someone else. You must be prepared for others to be smarter than you are within their expertise. You must understand how to manage process to motivate results. ‘I’ should be your least used word;’ we’ and ‘they’ your most used words. You must be self confident enough to survive absent a constant stream of recognition. You must be prepared to absorb heat and pass on credit.
The President, has made a parlor game out of counting the number of I’s in his speeches. He is, apparently, not to blame for anything we suffer in the moment; no failures, no shortcomings; unapologetic. It’s Bush’s fault, Congress’s fault, the Tsunami, Banks, Doctors, Insurance companies, Wall Street, the Europeans, Republicans. No recognition that policy might need a bit of a tweak or embracing the patina of a bipartisan stamp of approval.
Under the philosophy as applied by Mr. Romney, leadership is not a technical exercise, it’s not a political exercise; it’s a moral exercise. Not attempting to ‘manage’ convention speeches is a symptom of the Romney style. Selecting Paul Ryan is a further demonstration of an individual self confident enough to bring in folks who will challenge him intellectually and take responsibility for results.
Say what you will of ‘likeability’, or ‘connecting’ or ‘stiffness’. Say what you will of wealth. I’ll take a leader whose style is based on a moral premise. The symptoms are there.