The Greatest Management Principle in the World

by Michael LeBoeuf

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What is charismatic power?

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Charismatic power in leadership employs the use of charm to engage an audience and gather a following. A charismatic leader is often a good communicator and has an attractive personality that naturally works to convince the audience about his opinions and ideas. This type of leadership works by personalizing relationships between the leader and his followers, although the followers might not know the leader personally, they often feel like they do and are drawn to the leader. The leader, on the other hand, is able to achieve this by reading the mood of the people and employing adequate communication to resonate with the feelings of the people. The leader will also ensure the delivery of his message engages the listener and may employ metaphors and storytelling, among other literary tools.

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The word "charisma" is from the Greek, and means "divine power."  A leader with charisma exercises something like divine powers over his or her followers.  This is power based upon the ability to charm, to persuade, to hypnotise people solely with the power of personality.  The charismatic leader may have no authority based upon anything except the ability to persuade and charm.  The charismatic leader might not have any other leadership skills, for example, the ability to organize, the ability to implement good ideas, or even ethics. Charisma is valuable because a charismatic leader with other leadership skills can often be an effective leader, but it is also dangerous because a leader with no other leadership skills finds it easy to persuade followers to act in ways that are  not beneficial. 

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