Charismatic leadership, a leadership style that is often misunderstood, is seeing a rise in recent times. Once used interchangeably with populist leadership style, it is now being understood for what it is: a leadership style that can positively shape society.
The world today is full of issues. From global issues like climate change, poverty, terrorism, and food crisis to regional issues of war and conflict, there is a plethora of issues that need changing. Democratic leadership styles or inclusive leadership styles may be able to propel change, but the change can not be massive. Charismatic leadership is the need of the hour because it can allow great leaders to motivate individuals to do the right thing.
The above is not to say that charismatic leaders can not use their influence to increase chaos, however, society has enough gatekeepers to prevent that from happening. That being said, here is all you need to know about charismatic leadership and why it is relevant today.
What Is Charismatic Leadership?
Charismatic leadership is defined as leadership that allows individuals to become powerful communicators who can clearly and vividly explain their vision to their followers or their employees. Charismatic leaders have excellent articulation skills and can use verbal and nonverbal communication tools to further their cause.
Why the Society Needs Charismatic Leaders?
With so many issues engulfing the world, charismatic leaders can prove to be a breath of fresh air. They can use their charisma to convince and inspire the world to do good. The following are the 10 major reasons why society needs more charismatic leaders.
1. Ability to Communicate Your Vision
Charismatic leaders do two things well. For starters, they can think big. They can envision something extraordinary: something that no one has thought of before. Think of charismatic leaders like Nelson Mandela or Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Secondly, charismatic leaders can communicate their vision to a wider audience. Their careful use of verbal and non-verbal cues makes them a champion in articulating their ideas.
Also read: 7 incredible tips to listen like a leader.
2. Showing Empathy to the Underprivileged
Most charismatic leaders can rally the audience and convince them of a plan because they are out there to do the right thing. Leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King used their charisma to rally the audience and fight for just causes like the end of slavery or the abomination of white privilege. Since these charismatic leaders speak for the downtrodden and the marginalized communities, they can generate a lot of support.
3. Confidence in the Time of Crisis
Every great leader has had to go through a lot of crises; situations where they have failed miserably. Leaders like Gandhi fell and rose many times. This is because these leaders have enough confidence in themselves and in their vision that gives them the courage to rise. They are quick and have wisdom which helps them find silver linings, even in times of crisis.
4. Humility and Humbleness
With great power comes great responsibility. And one marker of a responsible leader is that they do not let the power get to their head. You have charismatic leaders who used their power and their influence the wrong way. Leaders like Hitlers were able to create genocide because they got too boastful. However, most charismatic leaders are humble and show humility. This makes them gain trust in leadership.
5. Optimistic Outlook on Life
Another attribute of charismatic leaders that benefits society is that these leaders always have an optimistic outlook on life. Since their mission is huge, and they can envision a world with much more equality, they are required to be pragmatic, but also optimistic. This is because most people are looking forward to their leaders taking them out of their misery. When leaders become pessimistic, others follow suit.
6. Engaging Conversations
Look at the interviews or the speeches of any charismatic leader, be it Imran Khan of Pakistan or Jacinda Arden of New Zealand, and you will be able to notice how they stimulate the minds of others. They will bring up topics and conversations that generate discourse within communities. They can highlight problems and give adequate solutions, thus improving the overall workings of society.
Also read: Inclusive leadership vs Transformational Leadership-Are they the same?
7. Self-Awareness and Knowledge of Society
Connected to the point above, charismatic leaders are also able to highlight important areas of improvement within society. Where populous leaders will negatively use their popularity, charismatic leaders will highlight things like poverty, climate change, and water and food crisis to make people more aware of their surroundings. Moreover, they can use their charisma to influence and motivate people to work towards sustainable development within society.
8. Inculcate Passion That Drives Vision
Charismatic leaders speak with such passion and finesse that they can make every speech of their appear larger than life. There is a reason why leaders like Nelson Mandela and Imran Khan can generate massive crowds. It is because the audience can sense the passion and determination in the rise and fall of their tone and their voice. This compels the audience to believe in a vision that may have seemed impossible at one time.
9. Maturity to Understand Nuances
Charismatic leaders are not shallow, unlike most leaders in the world. They understand the responsibility they have towards the masses. This is why any responsible leader will charisma will be mature enough to understand nuances within conversations. Take the example of Jordan Peterson, an extremely charismatic leader of the west. Although he is pro-life and anti-abortion, he uses data and argues in good faith to put his point across and does not dismiss the concerns of pro-choice advocates.
10. Motivates individuals to break shackles
One of the ways in which charismatic leaders shape the system and improve society is that they can influence and motivate individuals to think beyond their lives and work in pursuit of a bigger goal. A good example is Rosa Parks: a black woman who was able to rally an entire movement and convince black people to speak up for their rights.
What Differentiates Charismatic Leadership From Other Leadership Styles
1) Charismatic Leadership vs Transformational Leadership Style
Charismatic leadership and transformational leadership style make two sides of the same coin. They are very similar. Charismatic leaders use their charisma to bring change within society. This change can either be positive or negative. Transformational leaders tend to bring change too, however, they do not necessarily use their charisma as a tool.
2) Charismatic Leadership vs Democratic Leadership Style
Democratic leadership style is more inclusive and participatory, and leaders tend to empower others to contribute in the decision-making. Charismatic leadership is usually when one leader uses expert communication skills to drive an entire team.
3) Charismatic Leadership vs Autocratic Leadership Style
The autocratic leadership style often comes with a negative connotation and allows leaders to use compulsion or even force to get their word across. Moreover, autocratic leaders tend to take decisions without consultation. Charismatic leaders can be both autocratic and democratic.
How to Become a Charismatic Leader?
1. Show Strength, but Be Vulnerable Where You Can Be
As a leader, you want to be approachable. People with too much charisma can often scare their associates and followers. This is why you need to show strength and instill respect in others. However, in times when emotions run high, it is okay to show some vulnerability too. This will make you more relatable.
2. Develop Your Listening Skills and Non-verbal Cues
Communication skills do not only involve good speaking skills. It requires you to develop your listening skills as well. If you want to listen like a leader, make sure you do not rush through the process and give adequate time to listen to other people’s concerns and suggestions. Moreover, you can develop good hand gestures that complement the rise and fall of your tone, thus making you more eloquent.
3. Be Transparent About Your Plans and Your Vision
Although leaders have always used secrecy as a tool to get ahead in the game, the times have changed. People do not appreciate leaders who conceal facts under the guise of doing everyone a favor. Charismatic leaders appeal more to people because they are transparent about their vision, their plan, and their reasons for following a particular trajectory.
4. Confidence Is Key to Inspiring Others
Confidence is not something you learn through books; it is something you develop when you focus on your skill development. Without having the knowledge and the wisdom of things, you can not expect to appear confident in front of others. So before venturing into any new domain or area, make sure you learn the necessary skills that make you confident.
5. Prioritize Your Morals and Your Ethics
Leaders are not the most moral or ethical individuals, however, it would be beneficial for them if they try to instill the right morals and ethics in their personalities. Charismatic leaders tend to appeal to the crowd, even when they are not morally upright. However, individuals who use their charisma for good and for the betterment of the people tend to gain more respect and trust in leadership.
6. Look For Ways to Transform Society
Change can be beneficial, even if it is small. The issue with most leaders today is that they want to take up the biggest cause and then delve into them right away. This often leads to failure. A good alternative would be to start small: pick an issue that is not multi-faceted and can be solved easily. By starting from smaller projects, you can eventually build enough confidence to take on something huge.
7. Use Multiple Channels to Advance Your Cause
Gone are the days when leaders used to gather crowds in streets and near monuments and delivered passionate speeches once a year or so. Now, leaders can use multiple online and offline channels to further their agenda. Smart leaders like Donald Trump have used social media platforms to get his message across. This increases the visibility of the leader.
Become a Charismatic Leader With the Best Diplomats
Charisma does not come naturally. However, many people believe that some leaders are born a certain way, and they have always had good communication skills. This is not true. You might see leaders like JF. Kennedy or Nelson Mandela and accept that they have had it easy; nothing can be farther from the truth.
Charisma does not naturally to anyone. It requires constant effort and practice. For starters, you have to work on your communication and your articulation skills. Next, you have to muster up enough courage so that you can command any room you desire. Next, you need to have the right people skills, so you can inspire any kind of audience. You can learn all this and a lot more when you join Best Diplomats.
The programs and trainings are designed in a way that helps you become a persuasive and charismatic leader: someone who is well-respected within the community. Through hands-on-practice sessions, you will be able to learn the art of public speaking in a very short time.
The charismatic leadership style comes with many pros and only a handful of cons. Charismatic leaders can use their influence and their charm to inspire positive and sustainable change. They can also highlight important issues of the world and convince others to prioritize that issues. On the flip side, there are some charismatic leaders like Donald Trump and Hitler in the past, who also used their charisma to prevent societal growth. However, in today’s world, responsible and passionate charismatic leaders can prove to be game changers for society.
Who Were the Most Famous Charismatic Leaders in History?
There have been many influential charismatic leaders in history. The most famous leaders include Barack Obama, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. These individuals used their excellent articulation skills to rally entire countries.
What Are the Three Types of Charismatic Leaders?
There are 3 main types of charismatic leaders.
1) Socialized charismatic leaders: can utilize their power and benefit others via it.
2) Personalized charismatic leaders: they can utilize their power to gain personal benefits.
3) Office-holder charismatic leaders: they are very powerful, however, their power ceases to exist once they leave their offices.
What Personality Type Is Charismatic?
Usually, ENTJ types of people are characterized as charismatic. They have all the necessary tools like the right intellect and wisdom to get their message across. Not just that, but they also have an extroverted personality type, which can help them connect with people.
Does Best Diplomats Help Individuals Develop Charisma?
Although charisma is known to develop with time. However, it can also be learned through a good training program, such as the one offered by Best Diplomats. You learn this through inspiration and modeling. You get to listen to charismatic leaders who deliver their speeches vividly. Moreover, you can model their behavior and instill the same characteristics in yourself.