Have you ever noticed that some people seem to be natural leaders and other struggle with it? We see it work all the time. Some managers have a team that jumps and does everything a step ahead of all the other teams. They are more dedicated and more productive. They are happy and productive. It turns out it’s not just a great team. It could have something to do with the charisma of the leader.
In this guide, we are going to explore charismatic leadership. You’ll learn what it is and why it’s important. You are also going to learn some simple and effective actions that you can take right now to further develop your charismatic leadership skills.
What is charismatic leadership?
A charismatic leader can also be called a magnetic leader. They are a leader who other people are drawn to. Just like a magnet is inexplicably drawn to metal, people are drawn to charismatic leaders for reasons they often don’t fully understand. However, the reasons become clear once you understand more about what makes these leaders special.
These are some of the common qualities that make a leader charismatic:
- Charismatic leaders have a strong vision that supports the values of their followers.
- Charismatic leaders are good at communicating with their audience. They tell relatable stories and catch people’s attention.
- Charismatic leaders are confident. They believe in themselves and don’t show doubt or fear.
- Charismatic leaders are optimistic. They envision their mission and believe they can make it happen.
- Charismatic leaders put others first. They not only lead, but also protect the people they lead.
- Most importantly, charismatic leaders build an emotional bond with their followers.
You’ve probably noticed that these are also some of the common qualities that make any great leader. So what makes a charismatic leader different? How do they do things different or better?
A charismatic leader vs A great leader
It’s not the skills themselves that is different.
It’s all in how they execute their leadership skills. It’s all about style, personality and presence.
There is an appeal to listening to a charismatic leader. They seem to know exactly what to say. People feel comfortable and at ease when they speak. Their words don’t make people more tense. People want to listen to what they say.
They seem to have a natural ability to take control of a room, or a meeting, or a situation. They are hopeful, optimistic and strong – and they project these qualities into the people they lead.
They keep people’s attention and thoughts on track. They can bring your brain back to the topic at hand when it gets scattered. Their words bring people together. In fact, followers of a charismatic leader seem to be stronger and smarter just by the presence of the leader.
Their confidence is contagious. People following them or working under them have more confidence because of them. They know he has their back. People are stronger when they know their leader has their back. They are stronger because a charismatic leader provides a shield of protection. A charismatic leader instills confidence that makes people strong. People feel good about doing things for them.
They never bully. They know how to balance their power. It’s never abused. They never ignore people they lead. They never belittle people, use passive aggressive behavior or make threats – even though they could. They wield their power with just the right balance. The way they use their power earns respect.
You may say “Wow!”
Yes, they have a wow factor. That wow factor is charisma. They have such a balanced personality and sense of style like a Hollywood movie super hero.
Is charisma something you’re born with?
A Hollywood movie hero might sound far fetched but it’s not. Think about Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon and George Clooney. They’re all real people who learned to play roles of somebody with cool style. You can learn how to be somebody with cool style. You can learn to be a charismatic leader too. You don’t need anything special, just the will to learn.
Sure, some people are born with charisma and they are naturally good at it, but anybody can develop the skills. Anybody.
Yes, you too can develop the skills of a charismatic leader even if you struggle to lead.
Developing the fundamental skills of a charismatic leader will help you manage your team at work. It will help you get more productivity out of your team. It will enable you to command the room during a meeting. Your employees will listen to what you say. People will be intrinsically motivated to help you out.
The first step to becoming a charismatic leader is to understand what’s going on inside our head.
Advantages and disadvantages of charismatic leadership
Why are we charmed and influenced by someone’s charisma? It turns out we are wired to be influenced by a charismatic leader.
There is psychology at work behind this leadership style. In the bestselling book Influence, Robert Cialdini describes six powerful techniques that are used to influence people everyday. Many charismatic leaders are using two of the six techniques all the time in everything they do — authority and liking.
Most leaders today are managers in a business setting. They lead teams at work or teams across different companies. If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, then you are leading teams that work for you. All leadership positions at work have some level of authority built-in. People listen to them because they are getting paid. Money is the ultimate tool to build authority.
As a leader, you need to have authority. It comes with the territory. If you aren’t in a leadership position, you need to work on getting there. It’s critical that you are elevated into that position. Presidents are elected, managers are hired or promoted. You can’t assert or fake your way to the top.
Even with established authority, you can still have problems with leadership if you aren’t doing more.
People are fond of you
A charismatic leader must…
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