Sunday, December 16, 2012

Three “C’s in Charismatic Leaders

Charisma, you can’t buy it, you can’t make it. And you sure can’t fake it

If a leader’s character is still easy to identify - tangible like diamond or soft as Tofu; then the charisma of leaders could be harder to smell—is it like the fragrance of one’s soul, the magnet of personality, simply a flash from one’s mind, or just a flashy outlook? What Is Charisma? From one of leadership articles: “Charisma is rooted in values and feelings. It’s an influence born of the alchemy that Aristotle called the logos, the ethos, and the pathos; that is, to persuade others, you must use powerful and reasoned rhetoric, establish personal and moral credibility, and then evoke followers’ emotions and passions. If a leader can do those three things well, he or she can then tap into the hopes and ideals of followers, give them a sense of purpose, and inspire them to achieve great things. “
There are at least three “C”s in Charismatic leaders.

1. Convincing 

“How can you have charisma? Be more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than you are making them feel good about you."     — Dan Reiland

Charismatic leaders have strength to persuade others, not always be oratory or rhetoric, but make influence on others’ heart; Charismatic leaders are not always expressive extrovert, the power of introvert can like lightning, to strike people’s mind; And the true charisma also goes beyond style, it well mixes the leadership substance such as vision & purpose with effective leadership styles such as participation and coaching.

Compared to another type of leaders, charismatic leaders may also face more pitfalls or bear traps as most people still confuse charisma with flamboyance or myth, so the charismatic leaders need have:

Leadership Gravity: Charisma isn't devoid of substance, in fact, leadership gravity can help leaders down to the earth or reach higher level maturity, be confident but feel humble at the same time; inspiring, also be cautiously optimistic.  And charisma comes from vision, not just the fashion; charisma accompanies with purpose, not pure acting.

2. Captivation

The other “C” element in Charisma is captivation,  it’s about communication effectiveness as well as the power of influence.

  • Captivate followers with vision & confidence:
"I am captivated more by dreams of the future than by the history of the past"                    --Thomas Jefferson

Charisma is intra-ward, diplomatic, comes from vision and purpose, though tactically, the creative communication style can make the conversation more captivated, such as stories and anecdotes; contrasts; rhetorical questions or analogizing description.,etc.  

  • 80/20 Leadership Principle
 “Charisma is the fragrance of soul.”    ― Toba Beta

No matters how captivate the leader is, always remembering: leadership also follows the 80/20 principles:  80% of substance and 20% style; captivate style won’t last longer without leadership essentials; the future trend is more captive than the fading fashion, and audacity & authenticity are more captive             than myth or buzz. 

3. Capability

"Charisma is the result of effective leadership, not the other way around."
— Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus

Leadership is a set of capabilities; charismatic leaders have their own unique capability to achieve leadership effectiveness;

  • Capability  Comes from “FOCUS”:

“Everyone has the ability and capability of reaching their goal if you put your mind and energy into. The answer is to focus, to determine and positive.  –Kemmy Nola

Leaders with strong focus can harmonize the team, and the positive charisma will soften the hardness and fluid the stickiness; can melt the icy ocean or fire up the glacier; Charisma is a colorful ribbon to decorate leaders’ capability boxes.

  • Capability is the Beliefs about Who We are
“What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.”   ― Albert Camus

Either character-based leaders or charismatic leaders, or any type of effective leaders, capabilities underpins leadership effectiveness; it’s the true trust to yourselves, also gain trust from others; it’s the innate driver to empower you to achieve more; at this point, charisma goes beyond the charm, it’s the attitude and aptitude to pursue sense of purpose. Still, charisma is like an aura, soothing surroundings, it's more natural than artificial; charismatic leaders are acting themselves than imitating others; the charm of such leaders is positive and delightful. 

More blogs about Leadership:
Character-based Leadership


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