Charismatic Leadership - The Power To Invoke Followership Effortlessly

charismatic leadership

Charismatic leadership invokes fiery followership through charm, effective communication skills, persuasiveness, and emotional appeal.

Charismatic leadership often appeals to the core physical, emotional, or spiritual needs of the people to win their loyalty and then move them in pursuit of his objectives.

Examples of people with this leadership style are Martin Luther king junior, Adolf Hitler, and Jesus Christ.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an orator of some sort. He had charm, emotional appeal, and character.

The people he represented were marginalized, unfairly treated, cheated, discriminated against, and badly in need of a savior. Martin came at just the right time.

If you doubt Martin Luther's charm, listen to the "I have a dream" speech again and again.

He was authoritative, bold, courageous, and had a dream. He sold this dream to his listeners and made it also their dream. The result?

The famous march through Washington D.C. that saw about 200,000 people leave their homes to identify with this dream, irrespective of the risk to their lives. Martin's words were so persuasive that the thousands who marched saw a possibility of the dream becoming reality.

Take the case of Adolf Hitler.

Hitler had a dream of a world order where Germans will rule the rest of mankind he considered sub-human. Hitler wanted to rule the world.

Ordinarily, this wasn't the dream of millions of Germans. But Hitler used a combination of dictatorship, torture, and mass propaganda to get many Germans on his side. The thought of a world order ruled by Germans certainly appeal to folks who were bought over by Adolf Hitler.

Through charm, force, coercion, and propaganda, Hitler won the hearts of millions of Germans. And these fiery followers were willing to fight to the death.

Jesus Christ was, in a sense, also a charismatic leader. He came at a time when the Jews were in dire need of a savior.

He was bold, courageous, empathetic, charming, and persuasive. In fact, the people acknowledged that he spoke "as a man having authority not as their scribes and Pharisees".

On one occasion, soldiers were sent to arrest him but they couldn't. When asked why they didn't bring Jesus with them, they replied" "Never have any man spoken like that".

What was Jesus message?

It was simple:

"Repent for the kingdom of God has drawn near"

"Come to me all you who are toiling and loaded down and I will refresh you".

"Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees. Offspring of vipers!"

Unlike the religious leaders of his day, Jesus Christ was considerate, empathetic, loving, non-judgmental, and humble. He identified with the people. He was a true leader.

In fact, on one occasion, the people seized him to make him king by force. Why? Because he was a people person. He was not selfish or self-centered.

  • He saw good in the people
  • He spoke forcefully and courageously against oppression and injustice, and
  • His words were soothing and a healing

    Today, over two billion people identify with Jesus Christ as his followers.

    The lesson?

    Charismatic leadership is a force for change.

    However, charisma alone is not sufficient to be a successful business leader as the Hitler experience reveals. Effective leadership must go a step beyond charismatic leadership. But it is an essential quality for change management.

    So, how do you put the power of charismatic leadership to use in your organization? How do you use this skill to good advantage?

    It starts with learning the key elements of this leadership style.

    1. Learn to be charming. Don't be raw or straight-jacketed

    2. Learn the art of persuasiveness. What is it that your people seek? How can you use that to gain their followership and achieve the extraordinary?

    3. Learn the art of effective communication. Effective leaders are good communicators. You have first to sell the dream to your people before they can buy into it. That requires effective communication.

    It can be done. You can learn charismatic leadership.

    Just go for it.

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