Leadership, Mitt Romney and Hilary Clinton, they have been persistent and motivated candidates for the highest leadership position in the United States: President. Both Romney and Clinton are exploring a run for the presidency in 2016. Each of them has had “vigor and persistence in pursuit of goals” (Northouse 2013 p. 21). Despite multiple attempts to gain the office neither has been able to achieve that goal. Is there something else missing from their perceived leadership abilities?
Romney has displayed an inability to convince other of his sociability the “inclination to seek out pleasant social relationships” (Northouse 2013 p. 26). Advisers indicate that his experience on the campaign trail will make him “more comfortable in public” (Rosenthal 2015). In fact what he needs is to be friendly, outgoing and have positive energy (Northouse 2013). He has offended many with his comment that 47% of the population is dependent on the government. The real number was likely to be much lower depending on how reliance on government was measured (Scherer 2012). This comment alone impacted his sociability by not showing concern for others’ well being during trying economic times.
Clinton faced challenges to her integrity during her time as Secretary of State due to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. She was grilled by Congress and appeared have exceeded her level of tolerance for the line of questioning when she displayed anger in denying the idea of a cover-up. Despite the reality that the House Intelligence Committee report did not conclude Clinton delayed action (Collins 2014) the House of Representatives reauthorized the special committee’s investigation without setting a deadline (Associated Press 2015). Certainly this will be raised as an issue during any campaign where Clinton runs for president. How well she handles the ongoing investigation will reveal any changes in her leadership traits.
Clinton will need to exhibit at least two of the ten traits Stogdill identified. Each of these is needed by all opposition political party members; the “willingness to tolerate frustration and delay” and a “readiness to absorb interpersonal stress” (Northouse 2013 p. 21). As president she would have to lead the very same legislators in front of whom she must testify. So she must exhibit sociability to some degree. Clinton also must be able to influence the followers, the legislators, either directly or through the input of constituents.
Romney and Clinton each face challenges in leadership traits. It may be time for fresh leaders to be evaluated and nominated.
Associated Press. (2015 January 6). House reauthorizes special committee probing Benghazi attack. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/01/06/us/politics/ap-us-benghazi-investigation.html
Collins, G. (2014 November 26).Counting Benghazi Blessings. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/27/opinion/gail-collins-counting-benghazi-blessings.html
Northouse, P.G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
Rosenthal, A. (2015 January 14). Rationale for another Romney candidacy: He would have prevented ISIS. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/14/rationale-for-another-romney-candidacy-he-wouldve-prevented-isis/
Scherer, R. (2012 September 18) Mitt Romney video fact check: Is 47 percent of US ‘dependent’ on government? The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved from http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2012/0918/Mitt-Romney-video-fact-check-Is-47-percent-of-US-dependent-on-government