Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler had something in common.
While they were mortal enemies, with extremely different beliefs and actions, they both were known to draw large crowds and inspire people with their words. They each had an indefinable personal magnetism that helped draw people to them, and made people want to cooperate with them. In essence, these two men both displayed one similar trait – a charismatic leadership style.
The word charisma comes from Greek, meaning divine favor, as true charisma was seen as a gift from the Gods. In the 1920s, a German psychologist described it as “a quality where one is set apart from ordinary people and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman powers that are regarded as divine in origin.”
However, according to Richard Wiseman, professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, you don’t need divine powers to be charismatic. Wiseman said he believes that charisma is half born and half acquired, which means while some may have been blessed with those qualities at birth, they still have to nurture and develop them.
If you are not a naturally charismatic person, and you are in a leadership position, or strive to be in the future, developing charisma may help you maximize success. As history points out, people always seem to be drawn to individuals who have a certain level of charisma.
Here are some quick keys to being charismatic.
· Don’t hide. Be seen. Charismatic leaders are always visible. They make efforts to motivate people, whether by listening and responding to them, or by working alongside them. They inspire people to go on, even in dark times.
· Talk the talk. Charismatic leaders embrace every opportunity to convince others to adopt their vision. These leaders always appear enthusiastic and passionate and make others feel good in their presence. These leaders present their strategy in a compelling way in order to inspire others.
· Speak even when you are silent. Charismatic leaders are very aware of the signals they send out. They let people know they matter, even if it is just by simple gestures such as direct eye contact and firm handshakes.
· Push boundaries. Charismatic leaders know exactly what they want, and how to get it in order to achieve goals. In every undertaking they push the boundaries beyond what is ordinary thought possible.
Charisma helps build confidence. As a leader, if you are confident and sure of yourself, it will be passed on to your employees.
What are you thoughts about a charismatic leadership style?