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What is Charismatic Leadership?

We’ve all learned about charismatic leaders throughout history. Some examples are Martin Luther King Jr., Sir Winston Churchill, and even Mother Teresa. What sets these kinds of leaders apart from typical leaders is that they are skilled communicators, have a way with words, and are able to communicate on an emotional level with their followers. What else does charismatic leadership entail?

Sensitivity to the needs of their followers.

A charismatic leader is always finely in tune with the needs of the people they’re leading. Many leaders simply focus on their goals and string their people along with them regardless of how it affects their peoples’ well-being. Charismatic leadership means knowing when your people need a break, when they need to be pushed more, and when they’ve reached a proper level of equilibrium between the two.

Articulate communication.

If you think of popular charismatic leaders, you’ll likely end up thinking about how well-spoken they are. Charismatic leaders know how to communicate on a deep level and inspire hope in the people who follow them. These types of leaders don’t just bark orders, they work with their people and motivate them to be their very best through intimate and moving language.

Prioritizing learning from mistakes.

Mistakes and mishaps are an inevitable part of working toward most goals, and charismatic leaders know and understand this. This plays into our first point of being in touch with the people who follow them – this includes knowing what kind of feedback motivates their followers the most. Being abrasive is not charismatic and doesn’t bring people together.

Inclined toward intelligent risk-taking behavior.

The best charismatic leaders know where and when to push the boundaries of what is considered normal and accepted. Moving toward change requires this kind of behavior, but the real skill comes in getting people to back them when they make these moves. Charismatic leaders are adept at working toward their goals in controversial ways and getting people to support them throughout the journey.

The world needs charismatic leaders because, typically, they advocate for a better world in whatever context that means to them. The scale can be as big as running for president or as small as motivating their sales team to meet their goals. They tend to have the courage to stick to their convictions despite pushback and advocate for what’s right. If you’re in a leadership position, take time to evaluate how you could incorporate these qualities into your own leadership style.

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