What does the word “leadership” mean to you? Environics undertook a comprehensive research project to shed some light on public perceptions on the concept of leadership, and came away with some interesting findings, shown in the SlideShare presentation above.
First, when someone says the word “leader,” the top three character traits that come to mind are: “visionary,” “role model” and “motivator.”
When thinking about where the strongest leaders come from, one in four say that the greatest leaders originate in the business world, followed by schools and universities, and activist organizations. Our research also indicates that a significant proportion think that the profession of origin does not matter. Interestingly, politics is the fifth most mentioned profession that produces the best leaders.
Despite the fact that politics does not rank very highly in terms of where the best leaders come from, it is politicians that most commonly come to mind. When asked to name one great leader in history, Winston Churchill and Pierre Trudeau are the top responses.
The specific character traits people most admire in leaders are honesty/integrity, tenacity/ determination and humanitarian efforts/concern for others.
Our research also indicates that two in three believe that leadership is a learned skill, rather than a skill that one is born with.