Australians see more leadership strength and believability in Penny Wong, Julie Bishop and Tanya Plibersek compared to the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison or Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, according to a new study released today.
The 1,400-person survey run over March and April also revealed that not only did Australians rate non-party leaders as being more believable and stronger leaders.
New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern scored higher than any Australian politician.
The study was commissioned by communications agency, opr as part of a wider report into overall leadership believability.
In the era of fake news, click bait and institutional scandal, the study sought to understand whether believability was the new critical factor in peoples’ decisions to support leaders and organisations.
The results demonstrated that Australians are left wanting when it comes to political leaders based on their ability to be inspiring, to represent us well on the global stage and to be leaders really worth getting behind.
The findings also revealed what it takes for leaders to win not just the minds – but the hearts – of those they serve; what it takes to go from being someone who is not just trusted, but believed, and believed in.
The nationally representative findings have been published as a new ‘Believability Index’ which uncovers the six key dimensions Australians are looking for when it comes to leadership strength – Relevance, Integrity, Commitment, Shared Values, Affinity and Follow Through – and ranks aspiring political candidates and business leaders in an index according to these.
The Believability Index scores for the political party candidates included in the survey are:
- Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister, New Zealand (77)
- Penny Wong, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Labor (53)
- Julie Bishop, Liberal (52)
- Tanya Plibersek, Deputy Labor Leader (50)
- Anthony Albanese, Labor (46)
- Richard Di Natale, Greens leader (45)
- Pauline Hanson, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party (44)
- Scott Morrison, Prime Minister (43)
- Bill Shorten, Labor Opposition Leader (42)
- Tony Abbott, Liberal (36)
- Peter Dutton, Minister for Home Affairs, Liberal (34)
- Clive Palmer, United Australia Party Leader (30)
opr chief strategy officer, Kaz Scott said: “When it comes to capturing the hearts and minds of the people they lead, it’s no longer enough to just focus on trust – that’s merely a starting point and a rational place to play.
“More important is the ability for leaders to transcend the rational and build an emotional connection.
“That takes them from being not just trusted or believed, but believed in.
“Believability is important because when we believe in an individual or an organisation, we are more likely to listen, engage, be loyal, defend and act on their behalf.”
Scott continued: “This new study shows Australians are crying out for leaders they can get behind.
“They do not perceive our political leaders to be believable and are instead looking to other examples emerging from places like New Zealand and outside politics to find new benchmarks.
“The perceived disconnection between what politicians say and what they do creates a believability gap, which can impact all aspects of their leadership and purpose.”
Corporate leaders ranked amongst the top of the Index scores
Respondents were also asked to rate their perceptions of the leadership qualities of well-known corporate individuals, with three out of four of those polled ranking in the top third of the overall Index.
The Believability Index scores for the corporate leaders included in the survey are:
- Ita Buttrose, Chair, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (64)
- Andrew Forrest, Chairman, Fortescue Metals Group (53)
- Alan Joyce, Chief Executive Officer, Qantas (48)
- Gina Rinehart, Chairman, Hancock Prospecting (40)
Scott added: “When it comes to leadership in business, Australian shareholders, employees and customers are looking for the same things that they are looking for in their politicians: shared values and connections, strong platforms and bravery to stand up for the things they believe in and that matter to the people they represent.”