New leadership survey results announced

CNU students and faculty attended a leadership conference in Canada

The Department of Leadership and American Studies researchers Dr. Lynn Shollen and Dr. Elizabeth Gagnon conducted a survey of over 1,800 people to examine the happiness with the leadership of the United States’ leaders. 

The results were revealed at the 2019 annual conference of the International Leadership Association in Ottawa, Canada. Not only did Shollen and Gagnon go, but several other faculty members and students went with them as well. The findings of the research were alarming to say the least.

28 percent believe leaders in the U.S. are effective.

60 percent said leaders are less effective now than compared to leaders 20 years ago.

46 percent believe it is too risky to be a leader in today’s modern world.

Many believe that unless they are at the top of an organization, they may not be able to be influential even if they try to lead because leaders at the top are so powerful (49 percent).

57 percent of those surveyed agreed that younger generations are not fit or ready to lead.

“These results are discouraging because we know that effective leadership is crucial if we’re to thrive socially, politically and economically,” said Shollen. “We do detect a few reasons for optimism, but overall, our findings have to be worrisome for our country’s leaders, for leadership educators and for all who care about the quality of leadership now and into the future.”

To ensure solid external validity, the 1,849 respondents were made up of a representative sample based on gender, ethnicity, age, income and other factors. 

The generalization of the research can be proven through those demographics. Shollen and Gagnon wanted their participants to focus broadly on the leadership in the U.S., not just one situation or leader. 

Less than 25 percent of the respondents say leaders are being effective in education, religion, national politics or the environment. Even with the poor ratings of the leaders, participates were reluctant to actually try to change things.

When it came to leadership within their community, 15 percent of the respondents claimed they were involved in some form of a leadership position. 

With the findings discussed earlier, it is clear they do not trust the younger generation to lead. In addition, most were comfortable with their leaders being of different gender/sex, race/ ethnicity, sexual orientation and income level. 

The only time they were not comfortable with their leaders being the opposite in some way was political differences. The research findings of Shollen and Gagnon can now be implemented when it comes to the study and the application of leadership.

~Caitlyn Bauske, Staff Writer~


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