A quick review of the Swinburne Leadership Survey, 2015
After polling 800 Australian adults in 2014, the Swinburne Leadership Survey produced some interesting revelations on beliefs about the nation’s leaders and citizens. The study not only surveyed political leaders, but other leaders in society as well. These included religious, community, trade union and business leaders.
The survey, primarily conducted via the telephone, found that political leaders were the least trusted leaders from the five sectors assessed. Almost two-thirds of respondents (59%) thought that political leaders in Australia were “not very trustworthy” or “not trustworthy” at all. Respondents deemed community leaders as the most trustworthy in the five sectors with 81% of respondents believing so.
On the question of who among the five leaders was the most competent, political leaders – again – fared pretty badly being regarded as the least competent by the majority of respondents. Leaders from the other four sectors were generally viewed to be more competent than incompetent.
Respondents thought Australian leaders cared more about their own self-interest as well as that of those of their close supporters, more than the wider public interest. Business leaders were the biggest culprits with 75% of respondents believing that these leaders were “somewhat” or “much more” concerned with their own self-interest. Community leaders were perceived to be the most concerned with the public interest.
Regarding interests of the future generations, Australian leaders were thought to be generally more concerned with people alive in the here and now. This was not unexpected as the immediate problems that require attention are many. Respondents, however, expected to see more balance in the concerns of leaders for present versus future generations. The imbalance was thought to be highest for political and trade union leaders.
From the survey, we can conclude that Australians want leaders who care about future generations and the long-term future of the country, and who make decisions that are in the interest of all Australians regardless of their social groups.