Integrity Trumps Style, Say Voters
Voters don’t care if the 2008 presidential candidates are ugly,
boring, uninspired or verbose. What they want more than anything else
are leaders with integrity.
Honesty and integrity were the highest valued traits in a national survey that asked businessmen and women to identify the characteristics of superior leaders. Being able to see the big picture, listening skills, intelligence and morality form a second tier of desired attributes. Charisma and physical attractiveness ranked the lowest.
The EPIC-MRA study, sponsored by Alma College and its Center for Responsible Leadership, also identified five groupings of people based on their preferred leadership styles:
• more than one-third (36 percent) value a visionary people-person,
• about one-fourth (24 percent) value an intelligent charismatic,
• about one-fifth (19 percent) value a clear thinker,
• about one-fifth (also 19 percent)) value a can-do team player,
• a small group (one percent) values a physically attractive charismatic.
“Americans are longing for leaders of character—self-disciplined, honest people of integrity who work hard, expect results, are team oriented and are optimistic about the future,” said John Leipzig, director of the Alma College Center for Responsible Leadership. “We also want in varying degrees leaders who are compassionate, creative and competent.”
Previous studies released by Alma’s Center for Responsible Leadership confirm that most Americans lack confidence in leadership across different segments of society. What’s missing, said Leipzig, is a sense of integrity — ethical leaders with commitments beyond themselves to lead change and serve the common goal.
“These findings suggest a desire by many Americans to return to the core values of individual character and compassion toward others that Americans have relied on during other tough times in our country’s history,” said Leipzig. “These traits of character and compassion are really about ‘thinking beyond self’ — some might say that our country has become self-indulgent — and about a positive can-do attitude, a confidence which some say our country is rapidly losing.”
Read more about the survey results.
Posted: Thu, August 2nd, 2007 at 8:39AM