Sunday, 18 May 2008

What is charismatic leadership?

What is charismatic leadership? You just cannot stand up in a crowd, say that I am charismatic and become its leader. So, how does anybody become a charismatic leader?Looks, skin color, oratory skills, family lineage, style, etc are some of the words which come to mind Looks and skin color work but only to a limited extent. Family lineage would make you a charismatic leader amongst a worthless set of people. Oratory skills are essential for a charismatic leader. For it to instantaneously connect with thepeople their convictions should be emphasized, fears allayed, hopes fostered and most importantly play to the gallery. For all these to culminate in a powerfultalk, the leader should be well informed of his audience profile. Just imagine waxing eloquently on the growth in capital markets, infrastructure, etc amongst a group ofdrought hit peasants, you are liable to be stoned.
Style is a combination of voice, body language and dress. You cannot address an army going to war in a saint like voice. Your voice should be aggressive and wordsshould be screaming for the enemy blood. Body language reveals what the carefully planned words hide. It is impossible for a teacher to inspire his students, if he himself yawns during the class. There cannot be a better example on importance of dress than Gandhiji who could easily connect with the masses because of his dresssense. Why else do you think uniform is given utmost importance in organizations which want people to achieve a single goal? A contemporary example of the ultimatestyle package is Laloo Prasad Yadav. He has all the style in the world that is required to mesmerize his target audience.
For a leader’s charisma to sustain over a long period of time, he should be well organized, know the pulse of his audience and most importantly deliver on his promises.

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