Romney would organize his administration on the model of an Abbasid Caliph (ii)—OR: If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail
“As governor, Mr. Romney did little direct managing, delegating much of that to his staff, Mr. Kriss said. When addressing challenges, including solving the state’s budget crisis and shaping its universal health care plan, he took an analytical approach. Both efforts began with Bain-style strategic audits,” writes MICHAEL LUO for the NYT in an article titled For Romney & Company, Campaign Is All Business
His style in the campaign is similar, his aides said, with Mr. Romney relying on a circle of lieutenants, many of whom are longtime friends from Bain, the Olympics or the Statehouse, who are familiar with what he expects.
“He describes himself as the chairman of the company and me as the C.E.O.,” said Beth Myers, Mr. Romney’s campaign manager and former Statehouse chief of staff. “He does not manage this campaign.”
Romney’s small-circle of lieutenant-adepti management technique is also the way Romney addressed the health care question in Massachusetts
BOSTON–Only weeks after I was elected governor, Tom Stemberg, the founder and former CEO of Staples, stopped by my office. He told me, “If you really want to help people, find a way to get everyone health insurance.” I replied that would mean raising taxes and a Clinton-style government takeover of health care. He insisted: “You can find a way.”
I believe that we have. Every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance and the costs of health care will be reduced. And we will need no new taxes, no employer mandate and no government takeover to make this happen.
When I took up Tom’s challenge, I assembled a team from business, academia and government and asked them first to find out who was uninsured, and why. What they found was surprising … etc.
Here is the result:
Here is impression that Romney and Romney’s methodology leaves upon voters:
“It’s often true that our greatest strengths are also our greatest weaknesses,” writes Bruce Wilson in a Salt Lake Tribune release titled Is Romney’s business background a blessing or a curse?
And so it is with Romney. His admirable record of accomplishment in the business world was enabled by the application of analytical skills and business acumen he acquired as a consultant and executive of Bain Consulting and later Bain Capital.
But something else Romney acquired from Bain – dispassionate detachment – makes for a rough campaign road. Anyone who has worked with consultancies and investors like Bain would likely acknowledge they are hired primarily for their minds, analytical skills and access to capital – not their hearts.
Don’t get me wrong. They aren’t heartless. It’s just that the job requires them to keep their hearts in check so tough business decisions – even painful layoffs – are considered.
Dispassionate detachment is necessary in the consulting and investment worlds, but it can be a fatal liability in the political world. In fact, the opposite approach – passionate authenticity – is often more attractive to voters.
There are many examples of this phenomenon, but Ronald Reagan is probably the best case in point. Many voters disliked some of what Reagan stood for but voted for him anyway because they liked the fact that he actually stood for something. They believed Reagan not only because of what he said and did, but also because of how he said it. To many it seemed Reagan’s heart, mind, words and actions were all in-sync … etc.
For our own critique of Romney’s method see:
Who was it who once said, “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail?”