Charisma as a Leadership Trait; its Power and Fallacies

Charismaas a Leadership TraititsPower and Fallacies

Charismais the power of an individual to influence others using the force oftheir character. People admire a charismatic person, and theadmiration creates the opportunity to influence them. Hence, such aperson has charm and attractiveness that motivates and inspiresothers (Montana and Charnov 257). For a long time now, the Americanpolitics heavily relies on the leader’s ability to persuade thevoters to see thing his or her way. However, this is not easy, and itcalls for strong character traits where the leader can positivelychallenge people to perform beyond the society’s expectations. Inevery generation of politicians, a few stand out for their personalskills and characters that make the people care for him or herdeeply. In this century, Obama has for proven to be such acharismatic leader due to his confidence, envisioning skills, andability to motivate people.

Obamastarted out as a young senator who did not have any record ofaccomplishment on a national platform to prove that he was fit to bea better president than his predecessors and opponents. Besides, hehad not done anything exceptional except giving promises of changeand exciting his audience with hope. However, his words were enoughto cause much uproar. He was able to sell his American vision andinspire people to support it (Bennis and Zelleke). Consequently, hehelped the voters to see the potential and possibility of supportingsomething more than their personal interest.

Obamahad a strong vision for the future of the American people, and hemotivated people to realize it. His speeches and public addresseshelped to show that he could see beyond the current realities in thecountry and helped his supporters to believe in a brighter and betterAmerica. Therefore, his charisma turns a room full of strangers intoa community of people who are willing to move beyond, gender, race,and political affiliations to renew the essence of the nation itself.He expresses a vision that his audience quickly turn into their ownand offer their support to see it succeed. Accordingly, it does notmatter what he chooses to discuss in his speech because he makes thesubject sound transcendental, which moves his audience to agree withhim. Besides, he is the media’s favorite because the camera doesnot intimidate him hence, the media has always shown their supportto Obama while criticizing his opponents (Bennis andZelleke).

Nonetheless,charisma has its fallacies due a leader’s inevitable defects.Charismatic leaders have excessive confidence and optimism. Itcreates a misleading notion that the current leader is the best fitfor the job. Thus, people rarely have time to look at other optionsor criticize the leader’s mistakes. Consequently, the charismaticleader creates a cult of personality and associating it with the ideaof change. He or she seizes the opportunity to present him or herselfas the only person who can deliver the revolutionary transformationeveryone desires. Even when the leader does not have the skills andexperience necessary to resolve an issue, they still manage topersuade the people that they are the best choice. For example, AdolfHitler was not a mass murderer prior to his tenure. He was insane butfew could see it because his charisma portrayed him as a savior ofGermany admired throughout the world. In his speeches, he appealed tomasses and gave a sense of elevation to the oppressed such as theworking class and the women. When Hitler spoke, he inspired hope andloyalty, and many Germans glorified him because he restored theirnational pride(Bennis and Zelleke).Later, his charisma got him into power but then he turned out to be amass murderer of the Jews.

Charismais seen as a personality trait. However, one can learn to increasetheir appeal by following several steps. First, it is important tostay alert especially when having a face-to-face conversation. Itwill ensure that the other person does not feel as though they arealone in the conversation. Likewise, the speaker’s eyes should movearound to look at everyone because it leaves a lasting impression onmultiple people. The second step is to stay smart and sharp by beingpleasant and learning to inspire others. Then, one should rememberand repeat (Brown). A person should repeat things such as someone’sname because it will make them feel important hence, they will paymore attention to the speaker. It is also crucial to handle bodylanguage. People unconsciously read facial expressions and bodymovement because it is a universal language. Besides, watching thebody language helps boost the level of confidence. Additionally, oneshould maintain good eye contact as it is another way to communicateand attract the listeners’ attention. Another way to developcharisma is avoiding negative conversations. Even when engaged in agroup having a negative conversation, one should make the effort tochange the discussion in a positive direction. Lastly, it is good togive genuine compliments. Giving flattering remarks stands outbecause people rarely pay attention to details thus, they miss anopportunity to spot something worth a compliment (Brown).

Concisely,some people will view charisma as a personality relativelyinsignificant similar to a little charm and good grooming.Charismatic leadership is a dynamic and empowering, which creates apowerful force giving people the self-management and enthusiasm toachieve significant results. Charisma is clearly a unique capacitythat enables a leader to inspire others, and it should not beunderestimated. Nonetheless, it is important to avoid its fallaciesbecause they paint an individual as the only person who can enactchange. Then again, charisma is not everything, and great leaderrequire other character traits and experience to be successful.


Bennis,Warren, and Andy Zelleke. Barack Obama and the Case for Charisma. TheChristian Science Monitor28 Feb. 2008. Web. 7 Oct. 2015.

Brown,Joel. 7Ways to Increase Your Charisma.10 June 2015. Web. 7 Oct. 2015.

Montana,Patrick J, and Bruce H. Charnov. Management.Hauppauge, NY: Barron`s Educational Series, 2008. Print.