Let’s look at the Oxford Dictionary definition for Charisma: Compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in other.
Now one may argue that most great leaders have ‘Charisma.’
Given the context of the current thread – Persuasive versus Directive approach on the part of the leader, it would appear from the definition that leaders with charisma may prefer to utilize a more persuasive approach…but then you run up against examples like Adolph Hitler who was clearly directive to say the least…but can anyone doubt his obvious charisma?
So how then do we resolve this?
The only way in my opinion would be to separate charisma from other great leadership qualities.
I am particularly drawn to the Transformational leadership traits:
a. Being a positive role model
b. To Inspire and motivate followers to operate at high levels of efficiencies
c. Intellectual Stimulation – challenging followers to be creative and
d. Individualized Consideration – being responsive to the feelings and developmental needs of followers.
Once you look at the Transformational Leadership traits listed above you begin to get a sense of similar qualities that may exist in leaders whom we already know possess Charisma. Perhaps the only missing ingredient would be that all charismatic leaders are necessarily excellent communicators and orators, who are able to connect not just at the verbal level but at the deeper, emotional level as well.
Charisma is a function of the leaders’ uniquely attractive qualities that endear him/her to their followers, combined with their needs and identification with the leader as well as the situation they are all in, that calls for a charismatic leader.