According to a survey by Pew Research Centre in February 2014, a stunning 76% of respondents said they distrust the federal government, “always or most of the time”. Only 24% said they trust the government “always or most of the time”.
The data indicate a breakdown of trust in several key areas:
Americans feel that real leadership in Washington is in short supply. Some say this is a long-standing problem while others opine that it’s become the norm in recent years. Both sides agree on one point: it will take something extraordinary to raise Americans’ confidence in Congress.
In a recent presentation to business leaders, leadership expert Andreas Jones said, “We are paying an enormous price on a national and an individual level as a result of ineffective elected officials. Our faith in our elected leaders has eroded our confidence in the future, and the result is a lowering of our expectations for our families and communities.”
Jones says that the more common reasons for this leadership crisis include:
Americans believe leadership comes from the top down, and they don’t see that in Washington. They believe that bottom-up leadership creates chaos because it causes disruption.
They expect their elected leaders to perform the tasks for which they were elected and that their leaders should be more proactive in tackling the challenges they face.
“While we face many monumental challenges today, none is too difficult to solve with good leadership”, says Jones, “but because of poor leadership skills, these challenges are seen as insurmountable.”
They believe government service benefits politicians’ personal interests more than it benefits the people they serve.
“Politicians seem to have forgotten the word “service” when it comes to government service. Americans believe many of their leaders are in office to fulfill their personal ambitions, not to serve the people.”
Many believe the federal government has fostered a world of uncertainty, which is not only felt by Americans, but by people who have traditionally looked to the U.S. for leadership and stability.
“America has a long history of stellar leaders, and as the only remaining superpower, we have an obligation to demonstrate compassionate leadership to others who aspire to live better lives”, says Jones.
“Unfortunately, many believe that the government is tarnishing the hard-won reputation of America in the eyes of other countries, and if this trend continues, the world will eventually see us as people weak and equivocal.”
Most important, the electorate wants leaders they can trust, and distrust of Washington seems to be growing.
“This is not a partisan issue”, says Jones. “The corrosive influence of pop culture and the glorification of greed have left a deep impression on the minds and values of many. These values are being expressed and accepted at the highest levels because it’s what many people have come to expect in life. But we can turn that around.”
Jones believes leadership training should be a part of every politician’s career. “Having the ability to make nice speeches or having the finances to use the media to get elected doesn’t mean you have leadership skills”, says Jones, “but leadership is something that can–and must–be learned by politicians who truly wish to serve others. And it’s not taught in schools.”
“Just as technology is giving rise to new ways of teaching science and language skills, we now have training systems that teach the most important skills of all–leadership skills. And leadership skills can be learned.”
For more information, contact Andreas Jones at IntelliMission.com, or by phone at (470) 899-9859
Company Name: IntelliMission LLC
Contact Person: Andreas A. Jones
Country: United States