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5 Types of Charismatic Leadership | Best Practice in 2024


Astrid Tran 22 April, 2024 10 min read

In this article, we will go further into 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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Who invented charismatic leadership?Sociologist Max Weber
Where did Max Weber come from?German
How many types of charismatic leadership?5
Overview of Charismatic Leadership

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

Principal of Charismatic Leadership

What is a charismatic leader definition? 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 apparent in recent decades as there is a sharp increase in the number of workers quitting their job or Quiet Quitting.

Many characteristics define an ideal charismatic leader. In Robert House's charismatic leadership theory, he mentioned four phrases defining charismatic leadership: 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 must always keep up with the ongoing global innovation, show an open-minded attitude, genuine hunger for absorbing and exploring new knowledge and wisdom, and promote creativity. Curiosity is the best description of creative people, and charismatic leaders 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 or worsen problems. Leaders prefer to target ambitious goals but they know setting up realistic and achievable goals as a start is crucial too.

#5. Vision

A 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 is the ultimate 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

Regarding examples of charismatic leaders, we should remember Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian lawyer and political ethicist. 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.

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

#4. Barack Obama's charismatic leadership

Barack Obama is a typical example of charismatic authority. 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.

One of the great motivational speeches by the first African-American president. 

How to be a Charismatic Leader?

Becoming a charismatic leader involves developing certain skills and qualities. Here are some strategies for those wondering how to be a charismatic leader to enhance their charismatic leadership:

  1. Develop self-confidence: Cultivate self-assurance by recognizing your strengths, skills, and accomplishments. Project confidence in your abilities and decisions, as it inspires trust and followership.
  2. Refine your communication skills: Effective communication is essential for charismatic leadership. Work on improving your public speaking, storytelling, and active listening skills. Tailor your message to resonate with your audience and use persuasive language to inspire and motivate.
  3. Craft a compelling vision: Create a clear and compelling vision that inspires others. Communicate your vision with passion and enthusiasm, highlighting its benefits and aligning it with the values and aspirations of your followers.
  4. Build rapport and connect with others: Develop strong relationships with your team members. Show genuine interest in their perspectives, emotions, and needs. Display empathy, active listening, and understanding, which fosters trust, loyalty, and a sense of belonging.
  5. Display enthusiasm and energy: Be enthusiastic about your work and goals. Express your excitement and positive energy, as it can be contagious and motivate others to join your cause.
  6. Lead by example: Demonstrate integrity, authenticity, and ethical behavior. Set high standards for yourself and adhere to them consistently. Be a role model for the values and behaviors you want to see in your team.
  7. Encourage and empower others: Create an environment that encourages individual growth and development. Empower your team members by delegating responsibilities, providing support, and recognizing their achievements. Foster a collaborative culture where diverse perspectives are valued.
  8. Continuously learn and adapt: Embrace a growth mindset and seek opportunities for self-improvement. Stay updated on industry trends, expand your knowledge, and learn from both successes and failures. Adapt your leadership approach to different situations and individuals.

Remember, charisma is not about being an extrovert or having a larger-than-life personality. It's about authentically connecting with others, inspiring them, and positively influencing their actions. Practice these strategies consistently, and over time, you can enhance your charismatic leadership skills and become a true charismatic leader.

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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Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question? We've got answers.

Charismatic leadership is a leadership style characterized by the leader's ability to inspire and motivate others through their personal charm, confidence, and persuasive communication skills. A charismatic leader possesses a magnetic personality that attracts and captivates followers, making them highly influential.
Visionary, Confidence, Charismatic presence, Excellent communication skills, Empathy, Passionate and enthusiastic, Risk-taking and boldness and Emotional intelligence.
There are five types of charismatic leadership, including Visionary Leadership, Inspirational Leadership, Servant Leadership, Transformational Leadership and Ethical Leadership.
Focus of the attention to a leader's symbolic and expressive behaviour and the emotional reactions of followers to the leader, also towards the task.