October 9, 2012 by jmunoz4
During the first Presidential Debate this past week, there was a clear distinction in the leadership approach between Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. I was a little disappointed by the candidates because I felt like they both lacked the complete package. I think that a leader should be both dominant and passive and they each only showed one side. President Obama seemed to take the more servant, passive, and “professional” approach in the way he conducted himself. He did not interrupt Governor Romney or Jim Lehrer as much and he seemed more peaceful. By watching the speech, I gathered that Obama is more of a leader to serve the people rather than a leader for power and dominance. On the other hand, Governor Romney seemed to be more aggressive, strong, and dominant in his leadership approach. He frequently interrupted Lehrer and Obama to show his dominance. Also, his tone was more assertive and aggressive. Overall, I feel that Romney conducted himself with the attitude of “You are wrong, and I am always right” while Obama conducted himself with “I want to show America what I believe will make America better.”
Also, there was a clear distinction in the candidates by examining their eye contact. Romney kept eye contact with Obama when he was talking. Thus, it made it seem like he was specifically speaking to Obama only and also it made him seem dominant and intimidating. On the other hand, Obama made more eye contact with the camera/audience. Thus, it made it seemvlike he was more concerned with the public and was directing his statements to them. Obama however, looked down a lot throughout the speech when Romney was clearly making direct eye contact with him. You can analyze this in two different ways. Some say that the lack of eye contact Obama gave to Romney made him seem intimidated and weak. Others say that Obama overall seemed more calm, peaceful, and respectful towards everyone.
This is clearly a special instance because it is a Presidential Debate and both candidates want to gain public support. Thus, it is hard to say that Romney was too dominant and that Obama was respectful. Obama was criticized for looking too weak and for stuttering often. I think I am more of Obama’s leadership style based on my observations. I do try to lead and will continue to try and lead with respect, patience, and a professional approach. However, I also feel that I have to be a little like Romney. Sometimes a leader has to be the dominant figure and has to be assertive especially when dealing with a group who won’t listen or pay attention. However, there is a respectful way to go about being dominant and assertive and I hope to mix both of these into my leadership style in order to be a good leader.