The PLATINUM Study is a comprehensive study of leadership at the highest levels of American society. It examines the personal, moral, and social factors that sustain individuals and groups who exercise significant influence through major institutions and organizations in our society. Drawing on social-scientific analyses, the multi-year research project endeavors to understand how leaders influence their organizations, communities, and society as a whole. Through in-depth interviews and quantitative analyses, the project seeks to explain how leaders have risen to prominence, what challenges and opportunities they face, and how they establish legacies of influence beyond their tenure.
Thus far, 550 leaders have participated in the study, including two former Presidents of the United States, Cabinet secretaries, senior White House officials, Fortune 500 chief executive officers, celebrated artists and performers, writers, and leaders from the nonprofit sector. The PLATINUM Study has amassed the largest and most exhaustive set of interview data conducted with leaders in every sector of American society. These include leaders from politics and government, the arts, business, nonprofit organizations, higher education, media, and entertainment.
Platinum Study Participants
As the first-of-its-kind, the PLATINUM Study seeks to spur further empirical studies of leadership and to contribute to ongoing debates about the exercise of public influence in our increasingly complex society. Questions that animate the study include ones such as
The PLATINUM Study is directed by Gordon College President D. Michael Lindsay, a sociologist who also works in the related fields of management, education, religion, and leadership studies.
List of Interviewees (PDF)