Lo que más elogios le está valiendo al candidato Romney en esta campaña es su perseverancia, que concuerda con la proverbial disciplina que se le supone a un mormón. Pero su fe también ha influido en su manera de entender el poder ejecutivo.
When Mitt Romney was serving as bishop of his church in 1981, one of his two counselors wrote home to his mother with a prediction: This guy could wind up in the White House.
In the then-34-year-old Romney -- who would put in long hours at his consulting job at Bain & Company only to spend early mornings, late nights and weekends visiting ward members in need and administering church business -- Philip Barlow said he saw the marks of an unusually effective leader, and someone who “epitomized Mormon culture.”
“I found his executive ability so extraordinary that I remember writing home to my mother that this guy could be president of the United States,” said Barlow, now a professor of Mormon history and culture at Utah State University in Logan. “He’s got a strong dose of Mormon can-do optimism -- an optimistic confidence and resilience about overcoming challenges. I almost got a sense that he was ready to jump out of his chair and leap to action.”
Romney, now 65 and the presumed Republican presidential nominee, often speaks about the experiences that have shaped his leadership skills and business acumen -- which he cites as his prime qualifications for the White House -- including his work at Bain Capital LLC, the private-equity firm he founded, his turnaround of the scandal-plagued 2002 Olympic Games, and his tenure as governor of Massachusetts.
Yet Romney hardly ever names his religion or discusses his service in the church in public. He shuns questions about the beliefs and practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints, saying he does not want to be its spokesman. When he visits Salt Lake City today for a fundraiser, he’ll hold no public events, save for an airport photo-op, in the spiritual and organizational home of Mormonism.
(...) “He was in leadership capacities in the church roughly for a period of 14 years, and during that time he would spend from 10 to 15 hours a week doing nothing other than confidentially meeting with, and trying to help do what he personally could, or calling on the resources of other people in the area to help with the everyday problems of life -- whether it was unemployment, whether it was a wayward child, whether it was an illegal immigrant, whether it was a marriage falling apart,” said Grant Bennett, another one of Romney’s counselors and Bain co-workers, who succeeded him as bishop in Belmont, Massachusetts.
It was just one of the ways in which Romney’s world view and business approach have been defined by the teachings of his church, say friends, former associates and experts on the Mormon faith.
The Mormon church, which has no professional clergy, puts a premium on individual leadership. Boys as young as 12 or 13 give sermons and men at 19 or 20 years old undertake two-year conversion missions -- Romney’s was in France -- during which they face adversity, experience rejection, and learn to persevere.
(...) Romney’s way of constructing his business also had parallels with the Mormon church, whose volunteer ministry prizes consensus building, teamwork and a bottom-up leadership style.
“He created an organization without him micromanaging the other people who were in the organization like me, who were junior to him, where it was kind of a mix of Mitt being the CEO and a partnership arrangement,” Rehnert said. “He was never a command-and-control guy.”
(...) “Mormon scriptures suggest that God created a plan for mankind that would ultimately make them all successful: You will succeed in business, you will succeed in church work, not without adversity, not without hardship, but you will succeed -- and Mitt has that in spades,” said Rollins, who worked with Romney at Bain. “He believes there’s a destiny here that he can fulfill.”