There are many skills that a leader must possess. Some of these are the ability to communicate effectively, to have the valor to remain ethical and maintain integrity, and the ability to lead with the mind and heart. This paper focuses on Gov. Chris Christie, the ethical issues he is currently facing, his leadership style, and why it is that he remains popular, even in the face of the current scandals.
According to Richard Daft, “leadership means communicating with others in such a way that they are motivated to perform actions that further common goals and lead toward desired outcomes” (Daft, 2012, p. 232). In order to do this, a leader must be able to “read” his or her followers and understand what the desires of all parties involved are. As defined by Daft, communication is “a process by which information and understanding are transferred between a sender and a receiver” (Daft, 2012, p. 232). In order to communication effectively a leader must not only deliver a clear message, but also ensure that the message is understood by the receiver. According to Dan Glickman, a blogger for The Huffington Post, Governor Christie is an effective communicator because Christie is able “to connect with all different types of people” (Glickman, 2013). Glickman goes on to explain that Christie speaks in a way that registers with the people (Glickman, 2013). However, even when the leader is able to reach their followers, or in this case, their constituents, the leader still has the responsibility to have a certain amount of transparency in those communications.
On the plus side, Governor Christie does have the ability to communicate well in that he is able to stay bipartisan on certain issues. This increases his effectiveness as a leader because he does attempt to reach everyone. However, his communication skills are lacking in other areas. For example, while is his apologizing for the bridge scandal, one is hard-pressed to believe that he had no knowledge of the situation. However, assuming that he was truly ignorant of the role his aide played, he still made every attempt to reassure his constituents and to apologize (Zernike & Santora, 2014). His statement that he was “heartbroken that someone” that he had “permitted to be in that circle of trust for the past five years betrayed that trust” (Zernike & Santora, 2014). This is an example of a leader knowing what to say to reach out to his followers.
Governor Christie appears to be mired in ethical issues at the present time. It is difficult to decide which would be the graver, whether the “Bridgegate” scandal or the misappropriation of funds in the Hurricane Sandy aftermath. Gov. Christie is being investigated as to his use of the federal relief funds post Hurricane Sandy. Allegedly, he used the funds provided in order to produce tourism ads in which he and his family were featured (Frates, 2014). As stated by Daft, leaders have an obligation to...