Article (March-2018)

Articles

Charismatic Leadership

Vibha Singh

Designation : -   Consultant

Organization : -  TwineHR, Gurgaon

01-Mar-2018

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Jack Welch one of the most well - known and admired Charismatic Leaders is not known only for the great heights he took GE to as its Chairman and CEO, during his tenure at GE, the company's value rose 4,000%. He is also known for the kind of leadership with which he led the organization. He was driven with conviction and commitment towards the cause.
As a leader he went out of his way to build relationships with the customers as well as employees. His leadership style engendered a sense of value and pride in the company.
What sums up his thoughts as a leader, are his own words
"The essence of competitiveness is liberated when we make people believe that what they think and do is important and then get out of their way while they do it."
Like any other Charismatic Leader, he led by example, lived his principles and ensured that the he was positive, level - headed and polite which in turn earned him devotion, reverence and a commitment that made great things possible for the company and each person in it.
What is Charisma and Charismatic Leadership?
Charisma is defined as the "combination of dominance, desire to influence, self - confidence, and strong moral values. Thus, charisma is connected to an individual's belief in themselves, a strong moral conviction, and their own longing to be in a position of power. The reason that charisma is so significant to the idea of leadership is that it is a combination of traits that, when present, result in the leader being able to influence others and create an impact that is long lasting in others perceptions of them as leaders.
Charismatic Leadership style primarily relies on the charm and persuasiveness of the leader. Inspirational Motivation is what such leaders are known for, their ability to inspire and motivate followers to perform at high levels and to be committed to the organization. What sets most such leaders apart is that they are exceptionally good communicators, individuals who are not just the best orators but are also able to communicate with followers on deep and emotional level.
If we were to sum up some of the qualities of a Charismatic Leader, those would be as follows
1. Communication
Charismatic leaders have extraordinary skills in communication. This helps to motivate employees through tough times and also help them stay grounded when things are good, there are exceptionally good motivators. The leaders are equally comfortable communicating one-to-one or in a group setting.
2. Maturity
Though they have a very powerful personality, a charismatic leader also has maturity and character. They don't believe in empty showmanship, most of their actions are based on the wisdom and knowledge which they have accumulated over the years of life and business experiences. 
3. Humility
Charismatic Leaders place a lot of value on each employee, and have the ability to truly listen to their concerns. The charismatic leader is able to showcase to each employee the value that they bring to the organization, and show him or her how their contributions impact the overall growth and strategic plans of the organization.

4. Compassion
Some of the most successful leaders were found to be extremely compassionate. Charisma alone may not be enough, because there's a very real possibility that it can disintegrate into mere hero worship. Charismatic Leaders exhibit some complimenting qualities like compassion, integrity, honesty, and fortitude.
5. Confidence and Positive Body Language
It goes without saying that Charismatic Leaders are truly confident and warm, open with a very positive body language. They are the glass half full kind of people, and are comfortable with who they are. Charismatic leaders are secure and confident enough to be comfortable in their own skin. They make eye contact with whoever they are talking to, smile, and introduce themselves to strangers with great amount of genuineness.
6. Listening skills
Charismatic Leaders are extremely good listeners. They listen to understand rather than to respond. They are engaged in the conversation and act with empathy.
7. Self-improvement
A Charismatic Leader understands that he has certain qualities that make him different from others, he is also are aware of his limitations and hence never stops the process of self-improvement.
Is Charisma really important to a leader? 
We know that running a business, especially in the current scenario, is no child's play. It becomes even tougher if the leadership does not perform to its optimum and are unable to guide employees towards success. Amongst the top traits, that people look for in those in authority is charisma. Charismatic leadership will be able to get the best out of each person, be able to motivate them to achieve more and overall be examples of all the positive traits required to run a business.
In the Business scenarios today, it is becoming increasingly difficult, attract as well as retain both highly skilled and abled employees and customers. Both these sets of people will be attracted to a company where the leadership is aware of their interactions with others, the manner in which they behave with all those associated with the company. Charismatic Leadership would ensure that the leaders in question are positive, level - headed and polite which in turn earns them devotion, reverence and a commitment of both the talent and customers.
Coming back to the importance of Charisma in Leaders, many researchers have stated that Charisma is one the most defining qualities in a leader and can even compensate for the leaders shortcomings. Roseabeth Moss Kanter of the Harvard Business Review states that leaders must possess charisma, because there is a certain level of faith and belief present in all aspects of business and leadership, therefore, this factor of trust plays a critical role in who people decide to put their belief in.
Some others have pointed out that charismatic leaders tend to lead with their charm and wit, which coupled with a strong sense of personal empowerment, can make them very compelling to others. Also those who use this leadership style tend to have a strong conviction towards their views view and because of the association with dominance, can make them appealing to audiences, thereby ensuring success in most of the projects they do and lead.
To sum up we could re - emphasize on Seth Godain's words. "Being a leader gives you charisma. If you look and study the leaders who have succeeded, that's where charisma comes from, from the leading."