22 December 2011
Cambridge, MA—Not only in politics but across the board in eight different sectors of national life, Americans have lost confidence in their leaders over the past year. Overall, some 77% say that the country now has a crisis in leadership and confidence levels have fallen to the lowest levels recorded in recent times.
Those are among the key findings of a nation-wide poll, the National Leadership Index (NLI), released today by the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School and Merriman River Group. The survey is the seventh annual measurement of public attitudes toward 13 different sectors of American life, ranging from business and non-profits to politics and religion.
"It is understandable that in these hard times, when so much frustration and anger is directed at Washington and Wall Street, Americans would be down on the performance of their leaders. But the levels of unhappiness have reached a point where they threaten the coherence and stability of our society," said David Gergen, professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership.
"Fortunately," he continued, "Americans still like to believe that our problems can be solved through better leaders. But we don’t have much time—these results should be a fire bell in the night for leaders in every walk of life."