Posted on / Updated on / in Assessments & Blog & Leadership /

If Arnold Schwarzenegger can be governor of California and Jerry Springer can be mayor of Cincinnati, why can’t George Clooney run for President of the United States?

In his newest movie, Clooney does just that…well his character does. The Ides of March (released on October 7) follows an idealistic staffer (Ryan Gosling) while he works on the campaign for a newbie presidential candidate (George Clooney).

Gosling’s character gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail. This political thriller is sure to highlight the backstabbing that is rampant in politics; after all the movie title refers to the day Caesar was stabbed to death by one of his own.

Clooney not only stars in the film, but also wrote the screenplay and directed the movie. Seriously, what can’t that man do (beside commit to marriage)? Sadly, Clooney has stated that he has no political aspirations.

While he may be interested in starring in political thrillers, the star insisted he had no interest in being involved in politics. “It would never be something I’m interested in. I’m not good at the kind of compromises that you have to make to get elected,” Clooney said at the premiere of The Ides of March in New York.

While Clooney definitely has the charm, rugged good looks, and cleverness to make women all over the world swoon and box office numbers to soar through the roof, would he actually make a good president?

In the HR world, we understand what it takes to be an effective leader. Not everyone is cut out for the job. It takes certain qualities to lead a company, a city or even an entire nation.

Let’s break it down and see how Clooney measures up.

This was the view from the basement of the Farmer School of Business at Miami University where scenes from The Ides of March were filmed. Clooney and Gosling discuss the scene in between takes.

1.  Communication: A successful leader needs to listen to others, process the information and communicate effectively. We preach open communication in just about every blog because that is what makes company’s run smoothly. Through open communication, leaders must instill trust, provide direction and delegate responsibilities. While on the set of the Ides of Marchearlier this spring (part of the movie was filmed in Cincinnati and on the beautiful campus of Miami University), one of our staff members witnessed first-hand Clooney’s ability to communicate with the cast and crew. After each take, he would approach Gosling, give him tips on what to do better, and listen to his concerns.  It was quite a beautiful sight (for numerous reasons, obviously).

2. Focus: Leaders must be able to adjust to circumstances and think creatively. For the three days, Clooney and his crew were shooting on Miami’s campus, they were constantly bombarded with students trying to catch a glimpse of the stars in action. Clooney seemed to not even be phased by the crowd of students hovering in the basement of one the academic buildings staring up at him and calling his name. In between takes, he offered an occasional wave and smile to the eager fans, showing that he knows how to role with the punches (and please his fans).

3. Relationships: Building relationships and facilitating team success is key to being a good leader. Through relationships, supervisors must cultivate individual talents and motivate their employees. Now, Clooney’s personal life isn’t a great example of building lasting relationships. The serious monogamist seems to be just a little fearful of a full-time commitment. But if we put that aside and just look as his professional relationships, Clooney excels in this category. As a result of Clooney’s direction, Gosling’s character almost outshines Clooney’s in their new movie. True leaders are so charismatic that it is contagious. We think this describes Clooney pretty well. (Get more information about coaching team members here.)

4. Task Management: Leaders must work efficiently and competently. To achieve results, leaders must take action. Even as Clooney turned 50, the silver fox shows no signs of slowing down. He seems to only get better with age and experience as all good leaders do. We don’t think we’ll see Clooney sitting out on the sidelines any time soon. (Get more information about performance management here).

5. Personal Development: Lastly, effective leaders need to display commitment and seek improvement. Clooney recently talked about turning 50 in a recent article in Parade. “I look at myself on-screen and go, ‘I don’t look like I did when I was 40–I know that,'” Clooney tells Parade.  “The people I’ve respected most in the industry over the years — Paul Newman, for instance. I just loved the way he handled growing old on-screen. It’s understanding that you’re now basically a character actor.” We think he’s improving with age, what do you think?

Based on our list, Clooney would make a pretty good leader. But Clooney for President? That’s all wishful thinking. (Need to evaluate your leaders? Use this!)

In all seriousness, an effective leader can make or break a company (or a movie). Benefits of effective leaders include:

      • Better job performance
      • Increased productivity
      • More effective managers
      • Higher morale and increased commitment to excellence

All those supervisors looking to take their career one step further and become a more effective leader or new supervisors looking to learn more about the role need to attend our upcoming Supervisory Series!

Here’s why you should attend our Supervisory Series: 

New demands, challenges and ever-present changes have made our world a more intense, stressful place to survive. We are short on time and short on job security but high on risks. There is no better example of this than the role of a supervisor. Not only must supervisors inspire, encourage and empower, they must also direct, coach and sometimes, discipline employees. The good news is supervisors can learn, or relearn, the skills necessary to navigate through the challenges of employee relations, differing communication styles and the legal issues that affect the workplace.
Sign up here now!

We’d like to end things on a quote that sums up what makes a great leader:

“A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader; a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.”
– Anonymous

Become a great leader (like Clooney) today!

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about the author: Amy Letke

Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success.