Charismatic leaders motivate and inspire their teams.

I have a dream: Learning to be a charismatic leader

Everyone knows the power of charisma. At some point or another, we've all met (or read about) someone who was born with a knack for inspiring people. In politics, being charismatic can get you a long way – the same goes for business leadership.

Being an effective and successful manager or CEO is both about good strategy and good leadership. Striving to be a charismatic leader will help you connect with your employees and inspire them to follow you as you lead the business.

Striving to be a charismatic leader will help you connect with your employees and inspire them to follow you.

To tie up our series on the five best leadership types, let's look at charismatic leadership: what it is, what it's like to work under such a leader, and how you can become one yourself.

What is a charismatic leader?

Charismatic leadership is based on communication, according to Psychology Today. Look at Martin Luther King – he is known as one of the most charismatic leaders throughout history, and his communication was superb. Through his speeches, he was able to inspire and connect with thousands of people, most of whom he never even met in person.

Similarly, business leaders with charisma motivate and energise their teams simply by speaking to them. Like transformational leaders, these types of managers and C-level employees drive change in their organisations by having the entire company wholeheartedly behind them as they make decisions.

One important thing to keep in mind is that there must be more to a company than charisma. In order to succeed, a business must have a strong strategy and virtuous management team – not just one charming leader.

Charisma is a helpful tool for business leaders who strive to inspire.Charisma is a helpful tool for business leaders who strive to inspire.

Working with or under one

If you are working under a charismatic leader, there's a good chance you respect and admire them. Employees that feel inspired, engaged or motivated by their team leader are more likely to be happy and productive at work. For this reason alone, a charismatic management team is a very helpful tool for businesses.

Something to be aware of as an employee, though, is not blindly following a charming leader, says Forbes. Just because someone is charismatic doesn't necessarily mean they have integrity or a solid strategy. As we've seen throughout history, charisma and dangerous pride can go hand-in-hand, so it's important to make sure your management team has the best intentions.

Employees that feel inspired by their team leader are more likely to be happy and productive at work.

With that said, many inspiring leaders are both charming and well-meaning, so allow yourself to feel inspired if the company seems to be heading in the right direction.

Can I become a charismatic leader?

There has long been a debate over whether or not charisma is made or born – some people are naturally gifted with communication skills and charm, others perhaps not so much. However, in her excellent book 'The Charisma Myth – How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science Of Personal Magnetism', Olivia Fox Cabane sums up a wealth of research and explains how charisma is the result of learnt behaviours. Luckily for us, that means we can all develop it.

Ms Cabane describes charisma as coming from communicating with power, presence and warmth. Building these leadership communication skills is possible, but it takes guidance and deliberate practice. If you'd like to improve your charisma, you may want to attend leadership training. At ICML, we offer a variety of management training courses across Australia designed to help you become the best leader you can be.

We tailor powerful training and coaching programs to build charismatic leadership. Reach out to us today for more information.


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