Horowitz’s look at Romney’s leadership in the Mormon church spells out, as he writes, “how [Romney’s] actions sometimes clashed with his political positions.” But the 2012 profile, which looks at a side of Romney’s biography that his campaign does not feature often, is interesting not just for these contradictions, but for how the church’s hierarchy may have shaped his approach to leadership. He is called a “real iron-rodder” by a member of the Boston church and was known for holding his congregants to a high standard; as a church “stake president,” he had total authority and rarely had to deal with any dissent.
“Inside the Campaign: How Romney stumbled,” by Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei in Politico
The race has changed dramatically since this mid-September profile, before Obama’s poor first debate showing and the current change in the polls. And while not a typical profile, Allen and Vandehei’s bombshell look inside the Romney campaign revealed the cracks in its structure and management at that moment. Senior strategist Stuart Stevens takes most of the heat in the story (“Stevens has taken the brunt of the blame for an unwieldy campaign structure that, as the joke goes among frustrated Republicans, badly needs a consultant from Bain & Co. to straighten it out”). But the picture painted of Romney’s management isn’t all that rosy, either: “Romney associates are baffled that such a successful corporate leader has created a team with so few lines of authority or accountability. Romney has allowed seven distinct power centers to flourish inside his campaign”.
“Transaction Man,” by Nicholas Lemann in The New Yorker
Lemann turns to both Romney’s private-equity experience and his Mormonism to examine the primary influences on the candidate’s life. While it is less a look at the type of leader he may be, the lengthy profile is one of the most in-depth looks at the twin forces that shaped the man currently running for president, and its insights shouldn’t be missed.
“The Mitt Romney Who Might Have Been,” by Roger Draper in The New York Times
Draper explores the four years Romney spent as governor of Massachusetts as the closest proximate to what he might be like as president. He comes away with evidence of a more moderate Republican who could face trouble should he try to lead the same way if he becomes president. In doing so, Draper reveals why the Romney campaign may spend so much time talking about Romney’s business experience, and so little time talking about is time in elected office. Perhaps, he writes, it’s because it “calls to mind a lifelong technocrat who does whatever works rather than a conservative leader who sticks to ‘what’s right.’ ”
More from On Leadership:
Leadership profiles of Barack Obama
Leadership profiles of Paul Ryan
Leadership profiles of Joe Biden
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