Friday, 16 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 the people their convictions should be
emphasized, fears allayed, hopes fostered and most importantly play to the gallery. For all these to culminate in a powerful talk, the leader should
be well informed of his audience profile. Just waxing eloquently on the growth in capital markets, infrastructure, etc amongst a group of drought
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 words should 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 dress sense. 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 ultimate style 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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Banglaore, Karnataka, India