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Charismatic Leadership

Charismatic Leadership

Key Idea

Charismatic leaders have a special charm and glow, a charisma that draws people to them. They effortlessly “work the room” – making everyone feel like they are the most important or interesting person. The charismatic leader is exceptionally good at recognizing the emotions and moods of others, and then using just the right word or action to uplift the person’s spirit. What researchers have scrutinized is whether the charismatic leader employs these “gifts” in service to the organization or to maintain power and control over the group.

Book to Read

The Charismatic Leader 
by Jay Conger (1989)

Quick take from the Book

Conger highlights five attributes of the charismatic leader:

  1. Vision and articulation.
  2. Sensitivity to the environment.
  3. Sensitivity to member needs.
  4. Personal risk taking.
  5. Performing unconventional behavior.

Quote of Note

"Most of us have known leaders at work, in the community, in government, who capture our imagination with a passion for an idea – a vision of the way the future could be. When they speak, we find ourselves mesmerized by their words and drawn by their sense of urgency. They seem to possess a certain indescribable energy that inspires and motivates. They appear to touch our emotions more than our rational mind. Things happen when they are around. There is change. And often we find ourselves, quite willingly, drawn to them. We may also find ourselves performing beyond our expectations to accomplish their goals. Most of all, we are moved by them – and, quite frequently, moved to follow them. What is at the core of their power? Charisma is one word that comes to mind." – p. xi.

Related Styles: Visionary Leadership, Inspirational Leadership, Resonant Leadership

Return to List of Leadership Styles