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Charismatic Leadership

Charismatic Leadership Defined

A charismatic leader is a leader that will lead by using his or her charm instead of using their formal authority. For that matter, they will restrain themselves from using any form of external power.

They take the time to understand the individual concerns and then apply their inter-personal skills to provide the appropriated actions to ensure that their audience, of one or more, are truly attended to.

According to Max Weber's classification of authority, charismatic authority is one of three forms, the other two being traditional and rational-legal. He defined it as:

"Resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him"

Thus individual using a charismatic form of authority, or what we commonly refer to as Charismatic Leadership Style, will polish his or her personal images in order to appear like the perfect individual. He or she will do all in their power to ensure that they preserve their perceived images. Well that should be fairly easy to do, right? Well the answer is both yes and no! Yes, because if you are authentic, meaning true to yourself, then you won't need to act and your daily behaviors will aligned one another and even is stressful situation they will remain consistent with your true charismatic leadership abilities. No, because controlling how others perceive you requires a lot of conscientious efforts and you are bound to eventually make a behavioral mistake that we expose your cover. You know the results when that happens. Your no longer an effective leader!

Dangers of Charismatic Leaders

Charismatic leadership can truly have beneficial effect on both the organization and the people within it. However, this style of leadership can also have negative effects.

  1. The imposing presence of the charismatic leader, can lead towards the group thinking phenomenon, robbing away the creativity and thus rendering the organization only as good as its charismatic leader.
  2. The organizational focus can be diverted towards the charismatic leader as opposed to focusing on the execution.
  3. Employee motivation can be a challenge. Team members might lose interest in fulfilling the objectives of a leader that is too caught up with flattering his or her personal ego.

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