Charisma is a character that is always admired in any leader. Charismatic leaders have an enormous capability to empower their followers to deliver extra ordinary performance. This paper discusses qualities and importance of a charismatic leader
Self-confidence is one of the most important characteristics of a charismatic leader. Avolio and Yammarino (179), posit that if a leader lacks confidence in his vision and his or her ability to achieve it, he would not dedicate his full effort into achieving the vision and therefore would not take personal risks that are needed to achieve the vision. A charismatic leader thus needs to possess high level of self-confidence in order to take risky and costly initiatives. This will earn him trust from his followers who will be moved to act as a result of his actions. Most charismatic leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela possessed this quality of self-confidence which enabled them to costly huge self-sacrifices like long imprisonment. These self-sacrifices earned them loyal followers even from among their enemies.
According to Daft (361), charismatic leaders have the ability to inspire people. They talk to people’s hearts rather than their minds. Their words impact their followers emotionally rather than mentally. They achieve this by maintaining positivity and optimism which motivates their subjects. This way, the followers will always exercise personal sacrifice while doing tasks they are asked to do hence they will do more to overcome obstacles. A great example of a charismatic leader who inspired his followers through optimism is Martin Luther King with his “I have a dream’ speech. The speech kept his followers hopeful that they would overcome oppression. Therefore they remained loyal to him.
A charismatic leader can lead his followers through the toughest of times by keeping them motivated and hopeful through his inspirations. His inspirations will also keep his followers focused on the vision and mission. His self-confidence and self-sacrifice will be imitated by his followers who will perform beyond just a call of duty. Through these two qualities among others, his team will be able to achieve much even with little resources.
The paper has discussed self-confidence and the ability to inspire as some of the important qualities of a charismatic leader. These qualities enable the leader to motivate his followers to overcome obstacles and deliver results even under difficult situations.
Avolio, Bruce J., Yammarino Francis J. Transformational and Charismatic Leadership: The Road Ahead. Binghamton, NY: Emarald Group Publishing. 2013. 171. Web. 16 March 2014.
Daft, Richard The Leadership Experience Stanford, CT: Cengage Learning.2014. 361. Web. 16 March 2014.