Charisma is a quality that many people associate with effective leadership. Charismatic leaders are individuals who seem to exude a certain magnetism that turns heads when they speak. They know how to command attention with not just their words but the tone of their voice and even their body language. From celebrities to industrial and world leaders, charismatic people can draw anyone in.
For a long time, it was believed that charisma was something that individuals were born with. However, psychologists now believe that charisma is a mix of nature and nurture. While some people are naturally more charismatic than others, it is possible to learn and develop such qualities if you want to become a leader.
So what exactly is charisma? The word means “divine gift” in Greek, and it is a quality steeped in a certain amount of mystery. However, to really boil it down, charisma is defined as “a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure.” While this may sound like something that can’t be learned, it is possible to develop the qualities of a charismatic leader, and they are incredibly beneficial.
Here are some qualities of a charismatic leader and why they’re so beneficial:
1. Adaptable: A psychology professor from the University of Queensland in Australia believes that adaptability is the number one trait that all effective leaders possess. Being adaptable means that charismatic leaders can make the best out of a bad situation, they can handle subtle changes, and they’re also able to stay calm amid distractions. According to the professor, charismatic people may not always know the answer to a tough question, but they have the ability to come up with alternative answers and choose what works best for the situation.
2. Confident: Trust is one of the most important things for leaders to establish with their teams. When a leader is confident and not afraid to take a bold stance, it allows others to stand behind them because they trust them. Charismatic leaders exude confidence almost without faltering. It isn’t easy to show confidence, but it can be learned, and it is paramount for success. Confident leaders will always see the glass half-full, and this sort of optimism can be a powerful motivating tool for those they lead.
3. Visionary: Charismatic leaders respect the past, but they’re not going to be stuck in it. They have a mindset for innovation and are almost always looking for ways to improve things. Charismatic leaders have clearly defined goals that they want to achieve, combined with confidence, this can be incredibly intoxicating to other people. Next to adaptability, this may be the second most important quality of a charismatic leader.
4. Determined: Determination is the drive that keeps charismatic leaders pushing forward. If the vision is the far-off summit on the horizon, determination is what keeps them moving forward to reach it. Determined leaders don’t give up when they hit roadblocks. Instead, they put their heads down, adapt, and push forward. This drive to keep pushing ahead can trickle down and motivate subordinates to work harder at accomplishing the collective goal.
5. Great Communicator: Charismatic leaders draw listeners in with their good posture, eye contact, and hand gestures, articulating their words to help convey their vision and deliver their message with confidence. Simply put, they’re good storytellers. Clear communication is key for the formulation of new goals and for gaining the trust of the people around them.
6. Creative: Charismatic people tend to think outside the box, look for new ways of doing things and challenge the status quo. Aside from thinking outside the box, the best managers with effective leadership skills encourage others to tap into their own creativity and improve how they approach a situation. A charismatic leader rises to meet the challenges they face and view problems as opportunities for innovation.
The most charismatic leaders don’t just have a vision and know how to effectively communicate it. They also know how to adapt to sudden changes, and still be persuasive and motivating. While some people may be born with a little more natural charisma than others, the traits of a charismatic leader can all be learned and developed.
In summary, charisma may be a somewhat mysterious quality, but it is something that can be learned and developed. Charismatic leaders are adaptable, confident, visionary, determined, great communicators, and creative. By developing these qualities, anyone can become a charismatic leader, and they will benefit greatly in their personal and professional lives.