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Charismatic Leadership – Best Practice in 2023

Charismatic Leadership – Best Practice in 2023


Astrid Tran 13 Mar 2023 5 min read

In this article, we will go further into the notion of charismatic leadership and its characteristics, examples, and importance, which might help you distinguish the differences and similarities between charismatic and transformational leadership. If you are considering whether a charismatic leadership style suits you or not, let’s dive in.

In management style, there are separating terms of boss and leader, manager, supervisor… Being a good manager does not mean being an effective leader or a good leader might not be a boss. When it comes to leadership, can also be divided into many styles, such as charismatic, transformational, bureaucratic, democratic, and more.

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charismatic leadership
A charismatic leader can maintain an effective meeting – Source: Freepik

Principal of Charismatic Leadership

Charismatic leadership is the best way to motivate and inspire employees to commit to common goals for both the short-term and long term. The emergence of charismatic business leadership roles is more clear in recent decades as there is a sharp increase in the number of workers quitting their job or Quiet Quitting. There are many characteristics that define an ideal charismatic leader. In Robert House’s charismatic leadership theory, he mentioned four phrases to define charismatic leadership such as the dominant, strong desire to influence others, self-confidence, and a strong sense of one’s own moral values.

Learn from the above literature review and others’ research, in the following part, we have combined the five most popular qualities that you can learn from.

#1. Communication

Charismatic leaders will show you their consideration and deliberation in the way they communicate to solve the problem. They try to avoid speaking in jargon and find the easiest language to make all people understand clearly. They are also an active listener and try to encourage and understand the team’s ideas and opinions from their broad perspective. You will feel respect, straightforwardness, and kindness while you talk to your charismatic manager or leader.

#2. Compassion

When it comes to compassion, there are six elements that define your leader as charismatic or not including showing empathy, listening carefully without bias or judgment, sharing with the person suffering, tolerating mistakes, motivating others to think positively and more impressively, showing them your concern before they even ask for it. It is also about being happy for someone else’s success rather than being jealous.

#3. Creativity

Thinking outside the box and being willing to take risks is what a creative charismatic leader often does. Especially in the digital age, leaders have to always keep up with the ongoing global innovation, show an open-minded attitude, and genuine hunger for absorbing and exploring new knowledge and wisdom, as well as promoting creativity. Curiosity is the best description of creative people, they never limit themselves in their comfort zone but try to understand their limits and fight against them to look for an effective way of acquiring knowledge gaps.

#4. Determination

Consistent, focused, passionate and confident are some imposing traits of determined charismatic leadership. They appreciate the importance of efforts because they know change won’t happen overnight. Staying negative and pessimistic won’t help them solve problems and even make them worse. Leaders prefer to target ambitious goals but they know setting up realistic and achievable goals as a start is crucial too.

#5. Vision

Charismatic leader is a visionary too, as they can see great potential in people and ideas, rarely worry about failure and promote challenges, and look over the big-picture rather than focus on the present moment. They make sure every decision making is the ultimate one rather than taking the one that comes up first.

What are the Types of Charismatic Leadership?

Though Charismatic leaders have some principles in common, they orient and support their members as well as tackle crises with different strategies. Through learning about charismatic leadership styles you can better learn the charismatic leadership principles and find out what is your best leadership style and what you have to do to maintain your power and empower others. We have separated charismatic leadership into 5 main styles as below.

Socialized charismatic leaders are the ones who restrain power to benefit others and balance team desires and personal issues, aligning others’ values with their own values. For better goal achievement, they are willing to share and provide intellectual stimulation and resources for their subordinates. 

Personalized charismatic leaders are likely to be guided by their self-interest and offer consideration and support for the team to facilitate their own goals. They use their power and their intelligence to manipulate followers’ needs and the organization’s needs to fulfill those interests. 

Neo Charismatic leaders can handle the process of change and take into account the transformation of followers. They can encourage their employees to focus on the common goal rather than their own self-interest.

Divine charismatic leaders consider themselves a representative of god, a magnetic savior. They believe that they can influence people to follow God’s instruction with divine grace. 

Office-holder charismatic leaders maintain their power and authority in office but lose their influence and high status when they leave the office or after they resign.

Who are Charismatic Leaders given examples?

The history of charismatic leadership has witnessed many changes and replacements. There are a variety of charismatic leaders in the world, some of them become legends of history, and some of them are modern charismatic leaders. Given examples of top charismatic leaders might be a mistake if we don’t introduce these great leaders and their charismatic leadership traits.

#1. Martin Luther King Jr charismatic leadership

One of the unforgettable charismatic leadership models of all time is Martin Luther King Jr. His typical style is to leverage charismatic leadership essays and communicate eloquently and earnestly to touch and engage people as well as influence their followers, with the most inspirational “I Have a Dream” speech.

#2. Mahatma Gandhi’s charismatic leadership

The heart of Mahatma Gandhi’s charisma lies in his broad vision of cultural, political, ethical, and spiritual prospects. He promoted a tolerant heart to recognize the good in each individual without discrimination of religion or background, even with his enemies.

#3. Oprah Winfrey’s charismatic leadership

Among many female leaders, Oprah Winfrey is a top charismatic leadership model. She never fails to keep her followers captivated and continually inspires people with her motivating thoughts. Her own iconic network broadcast has been changing the lives of millions of people in the world.

#4. Barack Obama’s charismatic leadership

There are many controversial criticisms about Barack Obama’s leadership style as the position of the American president. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that his devotion, dedication, and remarkable public speaking skills make him a most inspiring charismatic political leader.

charismatic leadership
Oprah Winfrey is a top charismatic leadership model – Source:

The Bottom Line

Not everyone is perfect, and so do charismatic leaders, there is also a dark side of charismatic leaders such as narcissism, addiction, and psychopathy. Charisma should be used appropriately to bring a better life not to control and manipulate people.

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