Politicians should get leadership training before taking office – Poll

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Over 90% of the public think politicians should take leadership training before taking office.

That’s according to the 2022 LIFT Leadership Index, released this week by LIFT Ireland, which strives to raise the standard of leadership nationally.

For the index, LIFT Ireland worked with Coyne Research to survey 1,000 members of the public about their attitudes towards leadership. Respondents ranked healthcare professionals as the sector showing the best leadership in Irish society, followed by community and charity organisations, sports organizations and the education sector.

Politicians were ranked last in terms of good leadership, with faith groups also faring poorly.

Main research results

Other key findings from this year’s LIFT Leadership Index include:

*91% of people think elected officials should be required to take good leadership training before taking office.
* The same proportion think that the education system should focus on developing strong leadership among young people.
* 90% think public servants should be required to think about the meaning of good leadership as part of their continuing professional development (CPD).
* 89% believe employers have a responsibility to develop good leadership skills among their staff.
* 64% agree with the statement that: “Irish people in general have good leadership skills”.

Countries with the best and worst leadership

Moving from the individual to the national level, respondents were asked to rate the leadership shown by various countries, taking into account the people, politicians, businesses and institutions that make them up.

The top-rated countries – in order – were New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Australia and Canada.

Ireland’s leadership was rated poorly by respondents, earning a net score of just 2%, compared to New Zealand’s score of 43%.

However, the most negative ratings were given to Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

Commenting on the index release, Joanne Hession, CEO of LIFT Ireland, said: “Our annual LIFT Leadership Index clearly shows that Irish people value good leadership skills. They want to see our politicians, our public service, our schools and our employers promote and model good leadership.

“At LIFT, we work with businesses, community organizations and charities, local authorities, schools and colleges, and thousands of people across the country to foster strong leadership skills. Our belief is that everyone – regardless of role, age or status – is a leader and we can all improve the way we lead.Since launching LIFT in 2018, we have worked with over 20,000 people to develop their leadership skills By 2022, our aim is to increase this number to over 30,000. Step by step, we believe we can improve the level of leadership in Ireland as a whole.

Leadership traits to develop

For the LIFT Leadership Index, members of the public were also asked to list the leadership traits they felt needed the most development to raise the bar of leadership in Ireland.

The traits listed were – in order:

* Honesty and integrity
* Responsibility
* Respect
* Empathy and understanding
* Skill
* Positive attitude
* Listen
*Justice
* Valuing others
* Kindness

Further information on LIFT Ireland and the LIFT Leadership Index can be found at: www.liftireland.ie.


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