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“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.” – Seth Godin

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 the people who work in the company. 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 glowing examples of all the positive traits required to run a business. Do you believe that your company has charismatic leadership? If not yet, the good news is that it is possible to ‘acquire and learn’ how to be charismatic. Anyone with charisma would be someone with refined and polished communication and a deep understanding of interpersonal relationships – both these sets of skills can easily be learned and so it is possible for anyone to ‘grow’ into being a charismatic leader.

In today’s competitive business environment, it is becoming increasingly harder to attract and retain talented and highly skilled employees and also much tougher to acquire and retain 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 persons are positive, level-headed and polite which in turn earns them devotion, reverence and a commitment that make great things possible for the company and each person in it.

Charismatic leadership will mean that the company will not need to try too hard to get people to listen to them and achieve many successes together. A lack-lustre leadership can actually bring about the company’s downfall. Charismatic leadership is not the only way that companies succeed – each person in the company should aim to develop this skill. It leads to being popular and gain many supporters and being the person that people turn to for support and advice. In the long run such people climb the corporate ladder and become hugely successful. It works both ways – to gain trust as a leader one must be charismatic and to work your way to a leadership position, charisma helps.

How would employees and customers know that a company has charismatic leadership – what are the traits that these authority figures would display?

Charismatic leadership is confident and can help the others to be confident too. They are able to communicate with ease irrespective of the kind of interactions they have. Charismatic leadership can engage and hold the interest of even very large audiences. Their confidence is contagious – people around charismatic leadership feel energized and confident too, which in turn allows a smoother flow of communication between all. The crucial difference between people with charisma and those who don’t possess this trait is that the former are confident while the latter have false pride and are arrogant. Charismatic leadership not only have high self-esteem, but will inspire others to have self-respect too.

Charismatic leadership is people who are optimistic – they have the ability to use failure as a learning opportunity and remain in control even when things and people around them seem to be falling apart. This exuberance is easily spread to others making the whole work environment enthused, relaxed and relatively stress free. Their high optimism allows them to think rationally and positively, keeping them in command of even the most perplexing situations. Given the respect and awe charismatic leadership can inspire, such people are great negotiators and influencers, adept at problem solving and will work with their teams and employees to do the same.

In a previous exposition we had discussed the importance of emotional intelligence for leadership – charismatic leadership have a high amount of such intelligence which enables people to find them approachable, friendly, dependable and trustworthy. In addition, charismatic leadership can keep people interested in what they do and say. Employees will emulate all that such leaders say and do and conversely charismatic leadership will ensure that they actively listen to what the employees have to say and consider their suggestions and feedback. The sign of truly charismatic leadership is that they can convey and get their point across with fewer words. They inspire people through their messages and people listen with rapt attention each time – and in fact look forward to hearing what they will say next. Charismatic leadership is conspicuous by the fact that they use both verbal and non-verbal communication – including hand gestures and steady appropriate eye contact. If the people being address seem uncomfortable or distracted in any way, they have the capability to change the tempo and tone of their addressal to ‘recapture their audience.’

Charismatic leadership are enablers – they are genuinely interested in the feedback and views of others and it is extremely easy for them to make those around them feel comfortable. They will be honest which in turn enables others to be completely straightforward and forthright with their answers. Charismatic leadership are people who are able to recall personal and important details about other people and even remember discussions / interactions, which is a trait that makes them loved, trusted and respected. They are mindful of their behaviour and always maintain a pleasant demeanour, are ready with a smile and will be courteous to whoever they meet, irrespective of the level or position held by the person. Employees of such companies are more likely to be happy, committed and passionate about delivering great customer service and ensuring that their company is successful.

Apart from the soft skills, charismatic leadership are also highly intelligent and have expertise in a number of areas. They are smart, suave and tech-savvy – keeping themselves abreast with all the latest news and current affairs. Their wide knowledge base makes them great orators and conversationalists too. They would be able to explain with relative ease subjects that others may find overwhelming or incomprehensible. Their manner of speaking is smooth and flawless and their audience always seem enraptured – easier for them to get crucial and important messages across and also gain quicker understanding and buy-in from all those involved.

Charismatic leadership is strong and resolute and do not face a challenge to unite their employees for a cause that affects all. They can motivate people and are like beacons even in the darkest crisis. They are assertive in a non-authoritarian manner, allowing people to trust and respect them. They believe in communicating directly and presenting the facts as they are and don’t believe in hiding or masking any details as they understand the long term impact of lies and concealing facts. Charismatic leadership is rational and pragmatic and yet remain firmly grounded in the values and beliefs they uphold and also those of the company.

While possessing a number of positive traits, charismatic leadership is fully aware of the fact that it would be impossible to please all at any time. They remain unwavering in their vision and have the gumption and ‘fire’ to fulfil goals set and also set new and more aggressive goals. They would never waver from the ethical path and would have zero-tolerance for people who do – this makes them feared and admired simultaneously! Their conduct permeates the entire organization and ensures a formidable reputation in the business world, thereby attracting more customers, investors and other people to partner with. What would you say about your company’s leadership?

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