Types of charismatic leadership styles

Consider an example of a failing business. A charismatic leader can utilize the tools of charismatic leadership and create a vision of an organization that leads the industry. The message of the better future, and the confidence the leader shows towards subordinates can guarantee the employers are motivated to work together towards these goals. Furthermore, the shared vision provides another big advantage of the theory: better workplace cohesion. Since everyone in the organization is aware of the same mission and objectives, everyone is essentially working to achieve the same goal.

Knowing that everyone is essentially looking forward to the same achievement can create a stronger sense of togetherness and unity.

9 common leadership styles: Which type of leader are you?

In addition to the passionate approach to doing things, charismatic leadership also encourages risk-taking and thinking outside of the box. Together, these qualities can drive change in an organization and have a meaningful impact on the operational efficiency of the company. Since the emphasis is on achieving the objectives and working towards the shared goal, charismatic leadership tends to flourish learning behavior. Mistakes are not used for punishment and disasters are not shrugged under the carpet.

Instead, charismatic leaders and therefore the subordinates examine the mistakes and learn from them in order to move forward.

10 Charismatic Leadership Characteristics

For a business, learning from past mistakes is a crucial part of avoiding the issue second time around. The clarity in the objectives and vision are especially beneficial in situations where a company might be facing a crisis. As House and Weber argued in their theories, charismatic leadership works especially well in crises. If work morale is low and the company is lacking direction, a strong, charismatic leader can provide the organization a needed boost and positive vision for the future.

The focus on individuals and their self-esteem will also provide an instant boost in employee morale. Overall, the above can boost employee moral and productivity. The workplace can become a more invigorating and exciting place to be, with the possibility of larger social change on the horizon.

But as we briefly mentioned at the start of the section, charismatic leadership is not always transformational in a positive manner. The vision, envisaged by the charismatic leader, is not always universally positive and in the darkest examples of the human history, it can be deadly. If you consider the essence of charismatic leadership — dominance, confidence, strong convictions and the ability to get followers on your side — then one example of charismatic leader from history could be Adolf Hitler.

He was able to paint a vision of a future for people, which they took at face value. In a less-sinister manner, charismatic leadership can slip into arrogance or tunnel vision. The leader, along with his or her followers, can simply focus on the vision, without re-evaluating or re-examining its validity or attainability.

For an organisation, this could be devastating, as resources might be better spent in a different manner. Finally, charismatic leadership is based on the relationship between the leader and his or her subordinates. If, and when, the leader moves on from the organization, the company might suffer consequently because a strong leadership base disappears with him or her. The organization either needs a new charismatic leader, who has to spend time establishing his or her relationship with the subordinates, or implement a wholly new leadership structure into the organization.

As the subordinates have based their trust in the vision of the charismatic leader, there is no leadership development within the organization to guarantee the next generation of leaders are able to take over. As mentioned in the previous sections, charismatic leadership has plenty of historic examples in a range of fields.

Ten Leadership Theories in Five Minutes

There are the political examples of Martin Luther King and the other extreme example of Hitler. But you also have charismatic leaders in the field of social justice and business. The below examples will hopefully outline the characteristics of charismatic leaders and the ideas of the model in a tangible manner. Mother Theresa might not be a conventional example of a leader, but she perfectly fits the definition of a charismatic leader.


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Mother Theresa, who was born in Macedonia, became a Roman Catholic nun and started working with the poor. She left her teaching position at the St. In the s and s, she established different facilities in the slums to help the poor survive disease and malnutrition.

Charismatic leadership defined

Later, she also opened charities elsewhere in the world — all helping the poor. She inspired others to follow her example and she dedicated her life to empowering the less fortunate. In essence, she showed what good charismatic leadership could achieve. Charles Manson is one such example. He did, in fact, take a course on leadership and self-improvement during his time in prison.

His ability to manipulate and influence people came from a highly popular book: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Manson used the learned techniques of promising people things, boosting their confidence just slightly and creating a vision of the better future, where he was the only saviour.

Unfortunately for the world, his vision was dark and involved taking the lives of innocent people.

He took proven leadership qualities and turned them into a sinister manipulation. Charismatic leaders have also appeared in the business world.

Transactional Leadership

Welch had a sporting background and he used the lessons he learned as an athlete during his time in business. After graduating from college, Welch found himself working as a chemical engineer at GE in His approach to his position as a CEO was about creating personal and meaningful relationships. He met with the employees and the customers, talking with them to create a positive atmosphere. He wanted to create an organization that would beat its rivals and in order to do this, he had to weed out mediocrity from his company. Finally, another example of a highly charismatic leader in the business world is the late Steve Jobs.

Jobs clearly highlighted strong conviction and vision. He wanted particularly designed products, often forcing the designing team to great lengths to achieve it. He kept mentioning his key objectives and ideas in almost all of his speeches and ensured everyone in the company knew what the vision was. He changed his rhetoric and figurative language according to the audience.

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ALL about Weber's Charismatic Leadership - 12manage

Just as a charismatic leader would in order to find the right motive for his or her followers to participate in the vision, he was able to sense what his crowd wanted and needed from him. Jobs used different images and examples as part of his discussion. For example, IBM was the evil player in the game, while Apple would come and save the day — you can see the charismatic vision and motive arousal working for his favour.

But it is a powerful theory on its own and charismatic leaders can help create lasting changes in an organization. The framework for charismatic leadership focuses on conviction, communication and commitment. You need to develop a strong vision and be able to motivate other people to follow you. Your qualities as a leader and your ability to create meaningful relationships with your subordinates are the carrying forces of charismatic leadership, not any specific process or structure of the organization.

Since charismatic leaders are willing to take risks and look beyond the horizon, they can have a positive impact on an organization or society. History has shown us that charismatic leaders can lead subordinates astray and cause havoc while working towards their vision. Nonetheless, the leadership theory can be an effective way to motivate people and improve the way an organization operates. E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

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