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Leadership Theory: Charismatic Leadership

By EdApp
3 Lessons
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Explore the benefits, and potential negative aspects, of charismatic leadership in a workplace context.

Leadership Theory: Charismatic Leadership Lessons

Click through the microlessons below to preview this course. Each lesson is designed to deliver engaging and effective learning to your team in only minutes.

  1. Charisma: Our Definition
  2. Benefits of Leading with Charisma
  3. Potential Negative Aspects

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Leadership Theory: Charismatic Leadership course excerpts

Charisma: Our Definition

Leadership Theory: Charismatic Leadership Course - Lesson Excerpt

Charisma: Our Definition

Charisma has always been identified as a trait that is essential to great leadership.

But, how do we exactly define charisma?

Who are the people that could be considered charismatic?

Today, let's delve into the concepts behind the image of the charismatic leader.

CHARISMA Which of these words would you consider similar to it?

The prominent social theorist Max Weber has this to say about charisma:

"The term charisma will be applied to a certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of which (s)he is set apart from ordinary people and treated as endowed with supernatural, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities."

Following Weber's work, charisma was formalized as a leadership theory in the 1970s.

The Charismatic Theory is under the trait approach to leadership which is a collection of theories that are geared towards identifying the qualities and situations that distinguishes great leaders.

The Charismatic Theory has reemerged when Barack Obama, who is considered to be charismatic, won the 2008 US presidential elections.

Mahatma Gandhi successfully led the nonviolent resistance against the British during India's fight for independence. He's widely-revered not only in India, where he is considered Father of the Nation, but also around the world.

Sir Winston Churchill is considered by many historians to be "the the greatest statesman of the 21st century". He was one of the key figures who defended Europe's liberal democracy during World War II.

Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries for Charity and had devoted her whole life to helping the poorest of the poor. Her work has inspired millions to help those who are in need.

Martin Luther King Jr. successfully led the African American civil rights movement in the United States. He is widely esteemed for his intelligence and for fighting racial inequality through nonviolent protests

Benefits of Leading with Charisma

Leadership Theory: Charismatic Leadership Course - Lesson Excerpt

Why Would I Need Charisma? The techniques and benefits of charismatic leadership

CHARISMA is a leadership trait that successfully combines sound rhetoric, moral credibility, and emotional sway in order to sell an audience on a vision.

Charismatic leadership is often associated with the the most memorable figureheads and transformative movements throughout history and the world.

Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Aung San Suu Kyi are a just a few examples of global leaders who built lasting legacies with the help of charisma.

In this lesson, you'll learn why charisma should matter to you, too, and how you can use both verbal and non-verbal cues to gain the benefits of Charismatic Leadership Techniques (CLTs).

Charisma can be acquired. Contrary to popular belief, charisma is not something that you're born with. There are many simple techniques that you can use in the workplace to activate your own brand of charisma. These techniques fall under three main categories: Verbal Framing Using stories and figurative speech to make your message resonant and memorable Verbal Expressions Stating your confidence, as well as common sentiments to establish a connection with a group & Non-verbal Delivery Using your voice and body language to attract your audience and set them at ease

Non-verbal Delivery Which of these is not a charismatic leadership technique?

As you pursue ambitious, long-term goals with your team, remember that charisma is not just something that you're born with.

Charisma is a quality that you can practice in service of your vision, through deliberate words and actions.

Whether you're conducting a one-on-one meeting or a speech for a major conference, remember that you can tap into verbal and non-verbal CLTs to cultivate trust, enthusiasm, commitment, and inspiration in your team.

Potential Negative Aspects

Leadership Theory: Charismatic Leadership Course - Lesson Excerpt

Potential Negative Aspects of Charismatic Leadership Consequences and drawbacks of leading with pure charisma

The history is filled with a lot of great charismatic leaders, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Winston Churchill. They made impossible things possible.

Adolf Hitler (Germany's dictator, responsible for the death of 6 million Jews and million other victims)

Jim Jones (American cult leader who led 900 of his followers in a mass suicide using cyanide laced kool-aid)

Marshall Applewhite Jr. (organized the mass suicide of 39 people)

These might have all happened in the past, but the negative aspects of charismatic leadership may be continuing in other parts of the world in the present. What they are doing might not be as serious and damaging as world wars and mass suicides. But they might be damaging individuals and organizations. These negative aspects are certainly things to watch out for and fix as soon as possible.

People should not make charisma the litmus test of great leadership. Charismatic leaders may portray themselves as all good, especially in a time of crisis, and they may even perceive themselves as very effective. However, to test a great leader is to examine their vision, real intention, and values.

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Leadership Theory: Charismatic Leadership


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