What is the Charismatic Leadership Style?
The charismatic leadership style can readily transform attitudes and beliefs in others. This leader has the power to influence and inspire people and the goals of the organization generally reflect that vision. A charismatic leader is the type of leader that motivates their team or people by their way of expressive communication, persuasion, and personality. The charismatic leader is also talented in helping others see a vision of the future. This is the type of leader that can galvanize teams and point their collective efforts into a unifying goal.
The charismatic leadership style is the concept of the German sociologist Max Weber. He first introduced the term “Charismatic Leader” in his book “The Three Types of Legitimate Rule” in 1958.
What sets the charismatic leadership style apart is the leader’s ability to communicate effectively. This leader knows how to strike a chord with their followers, often engaging with people on a more personal level. Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D. from Claremont McKenna College wrote of the Charismatic leader, “essentially very skilled communicators, individuals who are both verbally eloquent, but also able to communicate to followers on a deep, emotional level,” in an article from Psychology Today.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Charismatic Leadership
There are distinct advantages to the charismatic leadership style. Charismatic leaders are often a catalyst for social change. However, they may not be a fit for organizations or situations that depend on rigid processes to function. The charismatic leader may also find it tough to flourish is teams where other strong or more dominant personalities exist.
How does this leadership style compare with your own style? How does it compare to your manager? Whether you are a charismatic leader, another style, or a combination of styles below are some advantages and disadvantages to the charismatic leadership style to consider:
- Inspire people to work together for a common cause
- Can create cohesive teams or organizations because their staff have a clear purpose
- Can develop tunnel-vision or arrogance, undoing their previous good deeds
- Organizations can become dependent on the charismatic leader and suffer if he or she leaves the company
- The charismatic leaders may believe they are above the law or current rules
Yes, there are pros and cons to each of the leadership styles, but understanding how to strike a balance is key to being a successful leader. Still unsure about your own style? To learn more about your style as a leader or an aspiring leader, take our short quiz that will give you a sense of your own style. To start the 2-minute leadership style quiz, click here.
Famous Leaders with Charismatic Leadership Style
From heads of state to religious leaders, below are a few of the many leaders in history that have displayed the charismatic leadership style.
- Sir Winston Churchill
- U.S. President Ronald Reagan
- Mother Teresa
- U.S. President Barack Obama
- Pope John Paul ll
RECAP: Charismatic Leadership Style
Want to know more about other leadership styles? Select one of these links for more comprehensive information about each style: Situational Leadership | Servant Leadership | Democratic Leadership | Supportive Leadership | Transactional Leadership | Laissez-fair Leadership | Transformational Leadership | Autocratic Leadership