Yes, we are all serious these days. If we are really good at this persona game we add a dash of carefully pondering each situation and become known as a "real listener." But that's only half of the winning presentation of self. The other part is being likable. That's nothing new.
Back in the end of the 1980s, journlist Hedrick Smith published the influential book "The Power Game: How Washington Works." In it he cited likability as a source of power. Others were confidence, known access to power, and the ability to obstruct. In layoffs and reorganizations, who gets "saved" are those who are, yes, liked. Associates who don't make partner frequently refer to being ousted as "political." But they really should be saying "I didn't do enough to make the partners like me."
Mitt Romney is one of those naturally serious types. He didn't have to sit on his inner Falstaff to get ahead. But, his downfall come November may be, opines Roger Smith in POLITICO, that the guy just isn't likable. Would you "save" him from a layoff, even if he weren't rich?
Those of us still intent on upward mobility will observe Romney and discern what movements he is making in attempting to develop likability. We could learn from that high profile performance art, just as we learned from Hillary Clinton's. Her breakthrough came when she no longer concealed her high intelligence and steely self control. She seemed real. We liked her. Still do.