When an individual embarks upon a particular task numerous variables come into play; in terms of recruiting a following. When people identify with a certain leader of a cause or of an organization they are intrigue with what that leader has to say, how she/he relates the message and how such a mission can be accomplished. Today more so than ever before with the advancements of technology people are privy to full exposure of those whom seek to convey a specific informative message. With technology the opportunity is there for perceptions to be formed bilaterally the messenger and the receivers of the message.
Now, I do believe that special talented individuals can lead without charisma; and I am also with the contention that a leader will not be a good leader with only charisma. I believe that it requires other perceptive interpersonal observations by a leader to have the skills of making adjustments while in pursuit of bringing upon change and or hope for the better. There have been lengthy discussions and studies by human behavioral scholars on the issues of charisma and the impact it has in leading. Also, is charisma something that an individual is born with or can it be taught and if so, how does one teach charisma? In all the years of my academic preparation and I must say, it is quite extensive; I have never ever seen a course on “How to become a charismatic leader”.
Let’s take a further review of charisma and the role it plays in leading versus what one could observe instead to be transformational leadership. In my view transformational leadership is the trend setter, in other words it is the person who can establish a merging effect of making things happen and leaving a lasting impact on the issues of the day. The transformational leader has a plan of action that will manifest itself as a permanent outcome to solutions of problems. It is more group management approach to executing an agenda; whereas the charismatic individual is a one person show.
It is important to keep in mind that the charismatic leader comes in various sorts; typically multi talented but not necessarily a flamboyant boisterous individual or one who can dance like Fred Astaire, has the brains of Albert Einstein, the heart of Mother Teresa and is as tough as Rocky Marciano all in one package. What is fairly evident; is that charismatic leaders are usually well prepared to sacrifice such as Mahatma Gandhi and Cesar Chavez who sacrificed their bodies by fasting for their beliefs. They typically are very self assured like England’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt in their team effort to defeat Nazi Germany during World War II. It requires the perseverance of a Ronald Reagan determine to bring the cold war to an end and defeat Marxism as Marx wrote it or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to persevere under intense pressure from the opposition to ratify America’s constitution by the introduction of the Civil Rights Amendment.
Such leaders all demonstrated a high level of commitment, enthusiasm and hopefulness that by many have been perceived to be charismatic leaders. What a lot of people forget is that many the above mentioned leaders were extremely humble and were highly driven with a great sense of humility. All felt they were fighting for a cause that was noble and were a combination of charismatic and transformational figures as many left a lasting impact that changed our world for the better. All were considerate individuals that that were curious about creating more leaders and carry-on with the good fight to improve humanity and world peace.
As one can begin to observe charisma comes when people begin to be impressed with the actions of the CEO; for example Lee Iacocca stepping up to the plate in his drive to turn Chrysler around and giving himself a one-dollar annual salary to demonstrate his level of commitment – yes people were impressed and they loved his “charisma”.