The German sociologist Max Weber is the person responsible for introduction the idea of charisma as being a type of leadership. Weber believed that leaders who possessed charismatic leadership qualities were highly esteemed persons. Talcott Parson is widely credited with importing Weber’s ideas to the United States. Lowell Bennion was the first person responsible for making available Weber’s original ideas in the United States. (Papers, 2009) There is a great deal of controversy about whether charisma is a given or inherit trait and if it leads to effective leaders.
A charismatic leader is one who attracts followers through their personality and ability to compel members to their way of thinking. These leaders tend to have articulate speaking skills that enable them to compel or captivate an audience, good listening skills that make the speaker feel important, a positive attitude, and the ability to inspire the people into action. They can also focus a great deal of attention in reading their environment and are good at sussing out the moods and concerns their audience. This allows them to hone their actions/words to suit the situation. (Ronald E.
Charasmatic Leader Essay Example
Riggio, 2012) Charisma can also have a negative impact. Some charismatic leaders can lead people into nefarious actions. A young officer, Napoleon Bonaparte, in the French army was successful because he instinctively knew about human behavior and the fact that one needed to show appreciation to those who helped you succeed. A good example of this was after a key victory; Bonaparte demanded the gold and silver confiscated from those conquered when he then passed out to his soldiers as thanks. Napoleon’s charisma eventually led his army into battles (Russia) that advisors deemed not worth this risk and his imprisonment.
(McManus) Good examples of charismatic leaders include Martin Luther King Jr. , Gandhi, and Winston Churchill; they were known as dynamic, charismatic and inspirational leaders. (Ronald E. Riggio, 2012) King used his charisma to help change a nation understands of equal rights across racial lines. Gandhi used his charisma to speak out publicly on human rights discrimination and mesmerizing crowds with his passion. Churchill used his gift of charisma to inspire people to follow him by never backing down from a fight that you believe in.
(McManus) Characteristics of a Charismatic Leader Charismatic leaders are known to attract followers and inspire people to new heights (Basu). Attracting followers and inspiring people takes a certain type of personality or certain characteristics. People just don’t follow any single person. Something draws people in and once in these people can be inspired to do things. Some people, like Charles Manson, drew in followers and inspired them to murder; while some people, like Gandhi, drew in followers and inspired them to be better people.
(Basu), (Rosenberg, Charles Manson), (Rosenberg, Gandhi-Biography of Mahatma Gandhi) Manson and Gandhi had certain characteristics that drew people to them in the first place. These may have included maturity, communication skills, humility, and substance. Other traits include not just leading but being liked, caring for others before caring for your, celebrating life and inspiring enthusiasm, seeing the best in people and channeling it, dealing in hope and spreading the goodies (Alain, 2011). Charismatic leaders do not necessarily have all of these traits but these would be what to look for when choosing a charismatic leader.
(Alain, 2011) Charismatic leaders need to be mature. This does not refer to age. This maturity is a buildup of wisdom over years through experience. This wisdom can be in business or it can be in whatever area the person excels. Manson, for example, knew how to draw in women and used that knowledge to start a cult. (Basu), (Rosenberg, Charles Manson) Communication is a key characteristic. Leaders must be able to motivate their followers and share information and details. This comes through great communication skills.
Knowing how to speak to a group and how to make difficult information easy to understand allows a leader’s followers to know what to do and how to carry out the plan of action. Communication skills also help the leader to inspire his followers. Gandhi had great communication skills and inspired many, many followers. (Basu), (Rosenberg, Gandhi-Biography of Mahatma Gandhi) Humility is another characteristic a charismatic leader has. Some people do not feel humility and charisma can coexist but they can. Humility comes when a leader listens to the concerns of his or her followers.
They convince their followers the value of their contributions in fulfilling the long term goals and interests. This humility inspires followers to become loyal which is essential to the survival of the group (Basu). The last characteristic a charismatic leader must have is substance. A charismatic leader cannot just rely on flash for long. Followers want substance. They want something lasting. The leader’s actions must match his words (Basu). Anything a leader says must stay in the mind of his followers. Without lasting impact the leader will fail in keeping his followers.
In business this is important because, although, flash got you in the door, it is the substance that will secure and keep the sale. (Basu) A charismatic leader also must be liked, he cannot just lead. John F. Kennedy was a likeable leader. He did not use brute force but drew people to him through his actions. This made his followers willingly accept him and become loyal constituents who voted him into a Senate seat and then the presidency. (John F. Kennedy) A charismatic leader must place the welfare of others over him. This was a trait of Gandhi. He sacrificed things in his life in order to help better others.
He obtained a wide following of people and his ways are still being used today. (Rosenberg, Gandhi-Biography of Mahatma Gandhi) A charismatic leader must inspire enthusiasm and celebrate life. This celebration of life and enthusiasm in doing all things inspires others to follow. This celebration is done even for the smallest moments (Alain, 2011). It is simply a basic psychology of happy people will attract other happy people (Alain, 2011). Charismatic leaders must see the best in their followers and channel it. Showing appreciation for the potential of others is a key factor on gaining and keeping followers.
This also helps the followers to remain loyal to the leader. This is important in business. The employees or team members must work cohesively and support their boss or team leader fully in order for the common goal to be achieved. That goal is success. (Alain, 2011) Napoleon Bonaparte said “Leaders are dealers in hope” (Alain, 2011). Being optimistic is a great trait for the charismatic leader. This optimism and hope shows followers their leader believes in them and positively supports them. This optimism also helps followers know their dreams and goals are an achievable reality.
(Alain, 2011) The last trait a charismatic leader should have is learning how to spread the goodies. The charismatic leader has a lot of strengths, experiences, skills and knowledge (Alain, 2011). Sharing these with followers, employees and co-workers allows them to feel an important part of the cause. This sharing also lets the followers know the leader is not out just for himself but in the success of everyone involved. (Alain, 2011) Being a charismatic leader does not mean each person has all of these characteristics or uses them for the better good.
We have seen throughout time some charismatic leaders who have used these traits to only fulfil their wishes. Two of these were Hitler and Manson. Others have used these traits for the good of everyone and their leadership is still felt today. Two of these were Gandhi and JFK. Every charismatic leader should use his power for the better good of all involved but followers need to be smart enough to know when the leader veers off course and no longer follow but try and lead. (Alain, 2011) Pros and Cons Everything in life has its “pros and cons”. It doesn’t matter if one is a follower or a leader.
There are many of types of leaders out there. But it doesn’t matter what type of leader they are, there will always be pros and cons. Depending on the type of leader that person is what will reflect it. Take a charismatic leader for example, and think of all the past leaders who had these traits and think about their pros and their cons. Before we go into detail about that, we must first know the traits of that type of leader. The simplest way to describe a charismatic leader is that of a leader who is often thought of as “heroes that are able to use their personal allure to lead others”.
This is achieved by leading with high expectations, showing confidence, and conveying it all through their inspirational speeches. Another thing is to help advocate moral mission and vision; this takes risk to achieve their primary objective. With all those attributes combined is a recipe for a charm that “can be both a blessing and a curse on society”. (Jamal, 2012) With the power to persuade members in a core group of society, the leader intent is generally to use power to serve others. Generally they try to lead by example; to help coach and develop others, and in turn they share recognition with their followers.
This leads to the followers to think independently and to question the leader’s views. In the end it relies on “internal moral standards to satisfy organizational and societal interests”. All these interest are usually straight forward and leaves no doubt behind. Therefore these attributes are a “pro” for the charismatic leader. (Sims, 1994) There is an old saying, if you want something bad enough, you can have it. Unfortunately a charismatic leader is able to send out a message that may have “less-than-honorable reasons”. There have been many examples of these in history.
Whether one may see and believe one way, leaders of this caliber can easily distort and alter the followers view, achieving all of this through charisma. (Sims, 1994) How are charismatic leaders used today? How are charismatic leader used in today’s work places? They lead with the concern of its people and take their input. They do put the mission or production goals into play but the production doesn’t take priority over the people. This is very important because in my experience you will get more production out a worker that believes that you have their best interest at hand .
Charismatic leaders tend to create a comfortable environment for their subordinates. (Hai, 2007) They lead by reaching out to human emotion. This will give the sense that they really care. Also grasping their trust, knowing they can trust you they will be more open to your suggestions and least likely to challenge your authority. Gaining their respect and loyalty will go a long way. They tend to shower employees with personal attention. Those you respect and you know you can count on them to be loyal is a trait that is held at a high regard when dealing with human emotion.
(Hai, 2007) Charismatic leaders, when they have gained your trust, respect, and loyalty they can in most cases get you to do pretty much anything they want you to do. They will get you to follow them anywhere. These leaders are confident that this leadership method will work in most environments. (Hai, 2007) They keep the company’s vision intact by making sure that the employees are satisfied with their jobs. Those leaders will be dedicated and willing to take on unconventional methods to achieve the company’s goals.
He will sacrifice financial safety, raise risk, and personal time to Reach their goal. She will be the first one on the job last to leave and have a type A attitude. Charismatic leaders will participate in action that will impress their subordinates. (Hai, 2007) Charismatic leadership is not always used to achieve high performance standards form employees. They are a mainly required when introducing new products. These leaders are needed when starting a new facility where the majority of employees are new hires. Charismatic leaders are helpful in bringing a company through crisis.
This will raise the employee esteem but will not improve the company’s profits. (Hai, 2007) Charismatic leaders aren’t always desirable. This type of leader may not always be needed to achieve high performance from employees. A charismatic leader may not handle the whole production process for a production industrial company. He may only handle a crisis when it arises. (Hai, 2007) The charismatic leader is also used in the armed forces. With the constant deployments it is important that they have this trait, to keep their units focused on the mission and their overall well-being.
It is a big task convincing servicemen and women that your presence is needed to accomplish the mission even though they might think their effort is appreciated or wanted. (Hai, 2007) The charismatic leader has always played a part in shaping the world. A look back over history you will find them everywhere. They have been used in many areas in all aspects of life from cults, to swift tongues of politicians, to the work place and world leaders. Today those leaders are still found in many areas. Needed in some instances and not needed in others. (Hai, 2007) Is a charismatic leader born or made?
Is a charismatic leader born with the required attributes or is that leader utilizing instilled attributes? This is a question that has plagued a plethora of great minds throughout history. There are some strong believers out there that would tell you that a charismatic leader is born with the ability to motivate their followers, naturally intelligent and visionary. These characteristics are said to be visible in the adolescence years of the potential charismatic leader. The opposing side would suggest that a charismatic leader needs to have the attributes instilled into them throughout their lifetime.
This would suggest that there are milestones in an individual’s lifetime that over-time teaches them and inspires them to become a charismatic leader. Then again, there are people like Ronald E. Riggio, Ph. D. in his, “Are Charismatic Leaders Born or Made? ” article believes that a charismatic leader has a combination of born-with and developed over time attributes. Gerard Investor believes he has reason to believe that a charismatic leader is born. (Riggio, 2010) Mr. Investor states, “Recent study shows that hundreds of identical twins who were separated at birth found to have an amazing correlation in their leadership roles.
” Two babies, identical twins that were born from the same womb, separated at birth, grew up in different living conditions, taught separately and interacted in different social events still ended up being charismatic leaders. This is an amazing concept due to the amount of people that have walked this Earth and the amount of people we can consider being a charismatic leaders. A research firm, Center for Creative Leadership, completed a survey that found meager 19. 1% believes that a charismatic leader is just born. That same survey states that 52. 4% surveyed believes that a charismatic leader is taught the skills throughout a lifetime.
(Investor, 2010) With more than 50% of the surveyed stating that a charismatic leader is made throughout their lifetime says a lot, due to every individual surveyed being a C-level (CEO, CFO, CSO, President) representative for their company. Some would say that a charismatic leader has to endure social endeavors, higher education, taught the career path and learn to motivate personnel on a high standard. Within the right environment, with the right amount of cultivation, all of this can be taught to every individual to make everybody a charismatic leader.
This thought process has been applied to children, majority in private schools, for centuries this is how we have continued to produce charismatic leaders of companies and countries. Yet, that same survey states that 28. 5% surveyed believes that a charismatic leader is both born and made. (Gentry, Deal, Stawiski, 2012) Ronald E. Riggio, Ph. D. believes that a charismatic leader is both born with and taught these qualities. He believes that one third (1/3) of the required attributes born with the potential child, like temperament and personality, are required to make a charismatic leader.
The rest belongs to what the future charismatic leader learns during their years at school and social endeavors throughout their lifetime. The motivation and ability to communicate to their followers are traits that are learned over the years, not something that can be taught. Are future charismatic leaders missing out due to educational upbringing? (Riggio, 2010) Finally, certain people want to say that a charismatic leader is born with certain characteristics and attributes that help that individual proceed to becoming great one day. A great example would be the hundreds of twins that were separated at birth.
Certain people believe that a charismatic leader is completely dependent on environmental upbringing. And, that every individual on Earth has the potential to become a charismatic leader at some point in their lifetime. There are still a small number of individuals that believe that a charismatic leader is a product of both characteristics that are inborn and environmental upbringing. This would limit the amount of potential charismatic leaders to a fraction of the world’s population. What is it that we as a society can do to increase this number? (Investor, 2010)
Ralph Frick’s Opinion page 10 This is what I think about charismatic leader. Different leaders have different qualities which draw followers to them; one quality which stands out is the charisma of a leader. A leader who uses his or her charisma to attract followers is known as a charismatic leader; charismatic leaders not only garner followers to their causes with their charms, but they also use charisma to persuade. The success of a charismatic leader is based on the relationship between the leaders and the followers, not on the success or failure of a specific task.
If a charismatic leader knows how to handle a failure and use it as a rallying cry for the next job, they can maintain followers and project an image of success and confidence while accomplishing nothing. Charismatic leaders can use their charisma for a variety of different applications; examples include Bill Clinton and Adolf Hitler Charismatic leadership is used to persuade people to believe in a leader and can allow for great things. However, because the success of a charismatic leader is based purely on his ability to persuade and not on his morality, a moral leader can lead her followers to do potentially dark things.
Additionally, when the character of a charismatic leader comes into question, it can dispel the charm the leader used to win followers in the first place, causing him or her to fail. Charismatic leadership can accomplish great things, but people should look into what a leader is trying to accomplish before blindly following them on charisma alone. Most people will say that each of the successful leaders they have known behaves in a different way, even in similar situations. There is no rule for how a leader should behave, or for what action he/she should take in any give situation.
Different leaders will use different aspects of their leadership qualities, and different aspects of their own personalities, in different circumstances. In my opinion is that if you feel like you can be a charismatic leader then ask yourself these questions- Do I stand out from the crowd? What makes me unique? Do I inspire and invigorate my team? Do I communicate a vision that can exhilarate my followers? Do I motivate them to share my values? Diane Dininno’s Opinion Page 10 I leaned about how to function in a group. Everyone leads different lives outside of class. We work, have families, and have military commitments.
Some of us are trying to find jobs. Some of us live far away. All of these things make group work difficult. Assignments need to be completed but finding time outside the classroom to get together is nearly impossible. However, I felt our group worked well and communicated effectively. We had group members who were absent and did not make contact. This causes some delays in the submission process but overall we stayed on our time table we had set up. Listening and coming up with alternative ideas were a key part in our group work. We had backup plans in place for different scenarios.
We knew what could be dropped from the paper or what would need to be added if someone was unable to continue working with us. These strategies worked well for our group and I believe we all did the best we could. On our subject topic of charismatic leaders I learned there are good and bad in leadership. The traits and qualities making up a charismatic leader could be used to do great things but some use it to commit evil acts. The maturity of the person, communication skills, humility and sustenance of the leader enabled him or her to persuade people to do whatever agenda needed accomplished.
Ghandi and John F. Kennedy used these traits for the betterment of countries and people. They gained followers to carry out a plan for a better world. Manson and Hitler used their charismatic skills to persuade people to follow their evil ways. Convincing people killing was the only answer. This information will help me become a better leader as well as know what type of leader I want to follow. I will know what to look for and what to listen to in order to succeed as a group or team for the overall benefit of the organization or company.
Andrew Crompwell’s Opinion page 10 When it comes down to what I have learned throughout the process of this project, I have to reflect a little. I would have to say that I honestly learned what a charismatic leader is and what they should be. There are also aspects of a charismatic leader that I have come to realize that are important to stay away from. I have learned that you do not decide if you are a charismatic leader it is the people that you manage that makes this decision. As well as the people that views your overall accomplishments.
I have learned that a charismatic leader can be for the people and against the people. There is nothing that is set in stone that states a charismatic leader only does well for those that they manage, but we now know that is not true. There is a question that has been floating around for a long time trying to figure out if a charismatic leader is born or made. This is a question that I ended up with, and honestly it is not an easy answer to come by. I would have to suggest that a charismatic leader is a product of their environment, as well as, born with the required attributes.
There are certain attributes and traits that a single individual is born with and there are special circumstances that this individual must conquer before they can stand up to attempt to be a charismatic leader. There is no one way to train a charismatic leader. There is no right combination of genetics to mesh to create a charismatic leader. Genetics and circumstances are what create a charismatic leader over time. I have learned that individuals can be a charismatic leader for the wrong purposes. A bad charismatic leader has the potential to bring their underlings into battle even war.
This is what happened with, let us say Hitler. Adolf Hitler was a charismatic leader that had strong believes and had the ability to mobilize his countrymen to do his will, murder. This is what we do not want charismatic leaders to do to their followers, they should not have to die or kill in the name of the charismatic leader. So, what type of charismatic leader would you be if given the opportunity, helpful towards your fellow man or lead them to their deaths. Thao Dinh’s Opinion page 10 There is an unfortunate need for the many different attributes and characteristics of leaders.
Charismatic leaders are like any other thing in life; that there are up and downs, pros and cons, and ethical and unethical. The calling for this type of leader, in my opinion, is one that gives the people belief and mostly hope. By creating hope, the followers will believe and follow that leader to the end. The motivation created by this leader is a must in order to keep the hopes of the followers. It is one thing to get a group of people motivated, it another to keep the motivation going. Take a football coach for example. On the way there the anticipation of the team builds.
Upon arrival he must remain calm and be the one that the players look to. The players then go in and get ready; and once they are ready, a good and charismatic coach will be able to channel all the energy and anticipation for that game. The players go out believing in what the coach says and in high hopes of winning the game. When half time comes, the coach will continue to do and say things to keep the spirit up in order for the team to believe and remain in the game. But, not all leaders are created equal. There are some leaders that have a hidden agenda in what is said and done in regards to what they say.
Take the example of the coach from the example above. Say he uses the energy of some player to channel their energy in hurting players in the opposing team. In essence yes, it will help win the game. But it is an unethical practice that is still used today. Those are just two brief ways of how I see and view the powers of a Charismatic leader. The unfortunate part of that is that I compared and used football coaches as examples. Try opening up one’s mind and see the big picture, where these characteristics are also used in our political system. Larry Francis’ Opinion page 10 What have I learned from this project?
It has been interesting as always with most group projects. I think the group organization was good, and assignment of task was distributed very well. Everyone took the assignments and for most part completed by deadlines set. Then there are the add on people. They come to class one week then the next they are out. The people that are added after the planning process will either help are hinder. In most cases hinder. After everything has been assigned, you have to fit them in the scheme of things. They don’t share an equal load. But in this case it seems to be working pretty well.
At this point we seem to have a good handle on things and we will have a good project. Other than the working together on task assignments, I have learned more about leadership as a whole. I have been in leadership positions starting in the military from an early age. Over the years I have been around many different leadership styles. Some work for me and some I don’t like. I truly believe that most good leaders are born to lead but there are those that can be taught how to lead. I believe that I am one of those that were born to lead. Today I tend to lay back and observe more than taking charge.
I choose this approach because as a young leader I felt that older military leadership took offence to young input. So, I like to see youth taking the lead, but also respecting my age and what my experience may bring to the table. I also learned from this project that when you think of charismatic leaders we tend to look at pass leaders in history. So we miss the contribution that these leaders due for society today. From politics, company CEO’s and in some cases cults or social groups. These leaders have the same characteristics when it comes to drawing followers.