National leaders’ thinking — growth trajectories

While my colleagues and I have been gathering the data we’ll use to analyze the complexity level of the high profile interview responses of British prime ministers, I’ve been exploring alternative approaches to sharing our findings. As I wrapped up my post on developmental trajectories, it occurred to me that the Lectical® Scores of national leaders could be livened up by plotting them on a graph of growth trajectories. The result is shown above.

The growth trajectory in red (top trajectory) shows what growth would look like for individuals whose thinking complexity would be most likely grow to the level of many of the issues faced by national leaders. In reality, very few people are on a trajectory like this one, and even if they are, it is limited to one area of expertise. This means that in order to cope with the most complex issues, even our most complex thinkers need the best decision making tools and teams of highly qualified advisors.

The circles with initials in them represent the highest score (with confidence intervals) received by each leader. The data we scored were responses to high profile interviews with leading journalists. To learn more about the research and our analysis, see the articles listed below.

Caveat: It is important to keep in mind that we do not claim that the complexity level measurements we have taken represent the full capability of national leaders (with the possible exception of President Trump). Our research so far corroborates existing evidence that national leaders systematically attempt to simplify their messages, often approximating the complexity level of political stories in prominent media. Because of this, the figure shown here should be interpreted cautiously.

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