According to research conducted by chartered psychologist Professor Alex Linley, Nick Clegg should be the next prime minister as he has four of the five key personality strengths of a perfect leader.
Conducted over the past three weeks, this research found that the top five strengths that the UK’s next prime minister should have are:
- Judgement: the ability to make the right decisions;
- Personal responsibility: holding themselves accountable for their actions;
- Resolver: tackling problems head on and resolving them;
- Compassion: helping and supporting people in difficult circumstances;
- Improver: having the vision on how to improve things, seeing how things can be done better.
He had nearly all the personality strengths needed to make a perfect prime minister. Based on the results, Clegg is perceived to take personal responsibility for the future of the UK, has accurate judgement, is compassionate and is a born improver.
Gordon Brown was perceived to have the main personality strength of a resolver, tackling problems head on and sorting them out, while rival David Cameron’s key strength was optimism, maintaining a positive outlook even in difficult circumstances.
Brown’s strengths also included persistence, sticking with things no matter how difficult, and service, finding new ways to help people. His weaknesses included a lack of personal responsibility and persuasion.
Cameron also scored highly on strengths including strategic awareness and persuasion, but was let down by a perceived lack of judgement, compassion and persistence to the cause.
Professor Alex Linley, director of the Centre of Applied Positive Psychology and author of The Strengths Book, said:
“The results were surprising. Nick Clegg is rated extremely highly, despite his relative inexperience. For example, people have rated him as having high levels of judgement on decision-making, even though he’s untested.
“These results demonstrate that modern day politics isn’t just about policies, it is about people’s perceptions of the politicians who will lead us.”