Why Leadership Does not Require Charisma

You may need charisma to get elected to high office, but there is such a thing as small scale local leadership. For example, a technical expert could promote a new product idea to her colleagues by demonstrating how it works or by making a hard-hitting factual case for it. Our concept of leadership is totally distorted by our narrow focus on business and political leadership - what it means to get appointed to high office. Style is only a situational matter. You may need to be inspiring if you are advocating a fundamental change in people's values or way of life, but lots of examples of leadership in business are far more mundane, that is, if you define leadership as simply influencing people to think or act differently regardless of their position.

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5 Comments

  • davinder singh

    Leadership does need a deep understanding of people and their views.Human nature plays a critical role.Self-knowledge and analysis power are more important than charisma. true leader provides new prespective to approach to resolve an issue or launch a new service.

  • davinder singh

    Leadership does need a deep understanding of people and their views.Human nature plays a critical role.Self-knowledge and analysis power are more important than charisma. true leader provides new prespective to approach to resolve an issue or launch a new service.

  • davinder singh

    Leadership does need a deep understanding of people and their views.Human nature plays a critical role.Self-knowledge and analysis power are more important than charisma. true leader provides new prespective to approach to resolve an issue or launch a new service.

  • Mitch McCrimmon

    Leadership may require charisma if your image of the leader is a chief executive or country president. But the Director of R&D or Finance is more likely to lead based on technical knowledge or professional competence and credibility, with or without charisma. More importantly, I define leadership in such a way that it has nothing to do with being in any sort of leadership position. I think all employees can lead by example, just by doing something better than their colleagues. If their colleagues follow suit, then they have been shown leadership even if those showing it have zero charisma.

  • Michael Logsdon

    I truly believe that leadership not only involves charisma, but also passion, steadfastness, values, beliefs, knowledge and most importantly character. Influencing people to think or act a certain way may be a trait, but never a means to an end. A true leader with these core values knows equally the importance of motivating and believing in the mundane duties so then more prodigious decisions, ones where life and death are pontificated, can seem more routine. It is about belief in what you do, that you are doing it for a greater, germane cause and are teaching others.