A nationally representative research study reported some startling findings about Americans’ beliefs about the current state of leadership. Researchers at Christopher Newport University in Virginia conducted a nationwide sampling, and they discovered that less than one third of the respondents believe that leadership in the United States is effective.

That score drops even further in the areas of religion, education, national politics, and the environment. In those areas, less than a quarter of the respondents expressed that leaders were effective or very effective.

Three-fourths of the participants believe that the best leaders understand the experiences of everyday people, yet that same amount believes that today’s leaders are removed from the ordinary experiences of those people.

More startling discoveries were reported when respondents were asked about their own involvement in leadership. Almost 50% described leadership as being too risky, in large part due to the current social climate. Sadly, only 15% described themselves as being involved in leadership in their own communities.

Half of the respondents expressed that they did not believe they could influence their organization if they tried to lead, and over 50% expressed the belief that the younger generation is not being prepared to lead.

As startling as these findings are, they are not surprising. In fact, they mirror research on engagement scores as reported by Gallup. The connection between effective leadership and workplace engagement could not be clearer. Study after study reports similar findings.

The evidence points towards the need for research based leadership training. That training is needed at all levels and in all industries. Young people need leadership training and opportunities to lead in their communities.

Meaning-Centered Leadership presents a research based approach to leadership that helps leaders focus on the important touch points of Engagement and Empowerment, while helping leaders see their role in constantly growing their personal and organizational Expertise.

The M-CL framework presents a measurable construct of workplace meaning. By focusing on the development of personal and organizational meaning making, leaders can elevate their leadership and create conditions that promote well-being within their organizations.

When leaders focus on creating meaning they can gain the trust that the above mentioned research suggests they have lost. More importantly, the clear M-CL framework for leadership can be taught to new and aspiring leaders. Without a new generation of leaders who understand the power of meaning, much will be lost.

To unleash the power of meaning in your organization, use the contact link on this page to connect with us.