What Makes a Charismatic Leader

Topics: Charismatic authority, Leadership, Charisma Pages: 5 (1819 words) Published: March 3, 2011
Running Head: Charismatic Leadership

Charisma is a trait that is mainly found in leaders whose personalities are basically characterized by magnetism or attractiveness, personal charm, innate and sophisticated abilities of persuasion and interpersonal communication. A charismatic leader is therefore an individual leader who demonstrates a high level of charisma. They have the ability to influence people because of their high level of competence, skills, ability and knowledge. A charismatic leader’s exceptional personal qualities enable their employees to be loyal and obedient to them. They use a range of methods to maintain their image and to win trust from the followers. Some of the methods include; self-sacrifice- having great confidence in the employees and taking personal risks on what they believe in; they can also win trust from the followers by paying more attention to them at particular moments. This is to make the people appreciate the level of concern the respective leader has towards them; another way in which the charismatic leaders build a rapport with the public is by paying more attention to the environment surrounding them by investigating and by understanding the moods and concerns of the public. They then act according to those needs if it is possible or make a promise of quick action towards the situation. This is to suit the situation at that particular time (Laurie, 2005). The values of a charismatic leader are very significant as they can both elevate and transform their employees and the entire organization. They can as well manipulate their followers by taking advantage of their position and the trust people have in them. Some selfish charismatic leaders never accept defeat or challenge from others. The following are some of the distinguishable characteristics of a charismatic leader, their disadvantages and advantages as well as examples of these leaders that had existed before.

Some of the qualities and characteristics of a charismatic leader are; a charismatic leader should have a vision. As a leader they should know where they are heading to and where they are leading the company. The vision should be in line with their interests, values and desires. They should have a strong passion for that vision so that the staff and the employees come to love and approve of it. The vision should be powerful to enable a charismatic leader have self confidence. This is to give them the strength to overcome the challenges they might face in trying to achieve the vision. They are expected to “walk the talk” by doing whatever they say; they should neither fear anybody nor any condition or circumstance. Another quality of a charismatic leader is that they should be self promoters. They are expected to have a strong inner strength and personality. It is this strong personality that will attract people in the organization and make them believe in whatever they are saying. People will see the passion they have in whatever they are doing and become inspired and thus start admiring them and this creates trust and passion to work. They should also make the employees to understand the vision they have by using simple language that everyone can understand. A charismatic leader should allow the followers to see clearly the benefits that the vision will bring to them so that in case of any disagreement from opponents, they can support him (Adair-Toteff, 2000).

A charismatic leader is a great communicator. There speech should be simple, clear and straightforward. They should also be confident and persuasive whenever they are addressing the people. Most charismatic leaders use stories and metaphors. This is to enable the people audience relate with them much easily. Relating with the audience makes them lively and eases their address thus enable them hear their views on the point they are addressing. When there is easy relation, a charismatic leader can easily learn about the environment by...

References: Laurie, T. (2005). Charismatic Cultures. Thinking Allowed. New York: Wiley and Sons Inc.
Adair-Toteff, C. (2000). Max Weber’s Charisma. Journal of Classical Sociology.
Usser, S. (1987). Determination of positive & negative charismatic leadership. Grantham: PA: Messiah College.
Tomas, K. (2003). Understanding the Human Mind. London: McGraw Hill Publishers.
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