Charismatic Leadership Defined

charismatic leadership

Everyone has noticed that some people are better than others in the leadership role. Some leaders have a lot of leadership ability, while others have very little. This difference in quality and ability at the task of leadership is not always due to differences in training and experience. The difference may come from a much more fundamental reason. This reason is personality. Personality can have a very large impact on leadership ability. One perfect example of this is the idea of charismatic leadership.

Charismatic leadership is a type of leadership that is highly valued. These types of leaders are able to do things that other leaders cannot. They can mobilize workers to take action. They can motivate the public to overcome complex challenges. They can persuade clients to buy into ideas. They can convince groups to work hard and to achieve. In effect, charismatic leaders have an advantage over non-charismatic leaders. This competitive advantage is one of the reasons that employers look for charismatic leaders.

Part of the success of charismatic leaders comes from the behaviours that they exhibit, the techniques that they employ, and the way in which they think. In terms of their thinking, they are able to spot irregularities, inconsistencies or limitations within the current environment or situation. They are also able to come up with a solution or a vision to overcome the limitation. As the vision proposed appeals to the potential followers, a contract is formed between the followers and the charismatic leaders where the followers offer their support in exchange for achieving the proposed vision. The reason this mechanism works has to do with the idea of fear. Followers often are fearful that they cannot achieve the vision or mission on their own, without the charismatic leader’s leadership.

Though this sounds simply enough, that even a non-charismatic leader could do this, the techniques employed by the different leadership types are different. The charismatic leader makes themselves to seem special to the crowd through various means such as setting large goals, acting heroically, or pursuing significant and sometimes close to impossible objectives. An example of a challenging and close to impossible objective would be a catastrophe or a national emergency. It is during events like national emergencies where we see the rise of charismatic leaders. The charismatic leaders are relied upon when extraordinary leadership performance is required. They are able to do this by inspiring everyone’s efforts to work together in a collaboration to overcome the challenge.


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