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Charismatic Leadership Essay

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Updated: Apr 30th, 2019


What is Leadership? Today it is important to understanding various leadership styles and the truth behind them due to diversification in the workforce. Different styles enable one to fairly deal with developments in any discipline of management or leadership. The style of leadership is a main concern over employees’ performance.

Leadership is the ability to steer off activities of a team to success. There is need to explore various theories and applications utilized in leading diverse groups of personnel especially different age groups. The application includes the characteristics or models used for measuring leadership styles and strategies.

This paper forms a significant over-view of the assumption that charismatic leadership is a transformational way of modernizing intellectual governance. It also forms an analysis of the claim that the charismatic leaders are inspirational and transforms their group members for better performances.

What are the challenges facing the charismatic leaders? Does failure to establish leadership qualities cause failure of missions? The paper forms an analysis of the aspects that forms, energize or transforms leaders with a close reference to charismatic style of leadership.

Recognizing leadership

Leadership is guidance or assistance procedures mainly concern with the way people create rapport, communicate and live by the significances for life (Hargreaves, 2003). According to Hargreaves (2003), for a leadership style to be effective, it is imperative to practice some key governance values.

The process of leadership in an organization is considerably complex due to the high expectations placed by people regarding their different needs, synergy or energy levels, expectations, experiences, and technological advancements among other aspects. The group differences bring about diverse aspects, thus placing very high expectations and challenges to a leadership style.

Arguably, the leadership style has a reciprocating nature; whereby the leader has needs, and the followers have their own different requirements with the expectation that each party meets the other’s needs. In most instances, the leadership style fails because these needs lack measurable elements or factors to meet expectations.

Overview of charismatic Leadership

According to Northhouse (2009), a charismatic leader has a strong commitment to an exceptional style of leaving such as enhancing sacredness. This person is a hero because of the excellent and recommendable character that she/he portrays. The leader has a personal characteristic or leadership qualities of ‘charisma,’ that easily differentiates her/him from others.

This persona trait bequeaths the leader some unique treatment or perception comparable to the treatment accorded to the superhuman or supernatural beings. The leader gives an impression of existence of some exceptional qualities or powers that are inaccessible by the ordinary human beings (Clark, 2008).

The individual therefore enjoys a treatment of a heroic status as a leader because of the exemplary regards due to the special qualities. Ultimate judgment over the existence of these charismatic qualities in a person lacks proverbial proof from an ethical or aesthetic point of view, and therefore is naturally indifferent.

In relation to Clark (2008), logically, charismatic leadership entails ability to extract or break down complex ideas to smaller units that are easier for others to understand. This is a remarkable ability to illustrate complexity using symbols, images, stories, metaphors or analogies.

The leadership style also entails the ability to appreciate existence of challenges and risks and therefore such a leader is always eager to engage some disputes. Optimism is equally a trait of a charismatic leader because she/he is constantly ready to combat conventions, because they always engage a distinctive idiosyncratic nature.

Although without a guarantee for correctness or success, the charismatic leaders have unique guidance qualities to inspire people’s trust, believes and faith (Daft and Marcic, 2008). The leaders are the companies’ or organization’s heroines/heroes, because of the ability to coordinate change, engage new implementations, inspire renewals and gunner extraordinary performances from other organizational members.

Various attributes link the charismatic leadership style to the transformational way of governance such as, sensitivity to the group members or the environment, ability to take risks and capability to perceive and articulate outcomes. Consistent with Heifetz’s writing (2004), the main difference between the two types of leadership falls upon focus.

The transformational leaders focus on changing the organizations or the leaders, while the charismatic leader has a focus on commitment and devotion both to the persona values as well as those of the group members without the need of changing anything. Charismatic leader’s goals depend on motivation and leader’s vision. They are concern of others but the main concern first falls on their needs. Their personal values are very significant and of good intentions, hence elevated to the entire company or organization later.

Historical background of charismatic leadership

Initially there were three types of leadership styles also accorded the term dominations, classes or authority due to the differences in social perceptions. First, the charismatic leadership style had a basis on the family or the religious setting.

The feudal or the common traditional system of leadership entailed patriarchic nature while thirdly is the bureaucratic or legal type of leadership that mainly dealt with modernized law that supports democratic system of bureaucracy. Charismatic nature of governance comes out strongly because of the defined nature of dominance, strong desire to form influences, strong sense over the importance of moral values and self-confidence (Northhouse, 2009).

The charismatic leadership also portrays some unique attributes that makes it different from other leadership styles such as the ability to articulate vision for a firm, being sensitive to the world’s nature especially the environment and people’s needs, ability to take risks and engagement of some activists related behaviours.

Application of charismatic leadership

According to (Yukl, 2006) today people have accorded the charismatic type of leadership a characteristic of exaggeration because of the impression the management process enacts on performance expectations.

Arguably, Adolf Hitler as well as Mahatma Gandhi could reasonably qualify as charismatic leaders, but today the administrative process considers a charismatic leader as one who fills the environment with energy and positive reinforcements without the need to learn the transaction behind such performances.

The inspiration to others therefore disqualifies the negative corroborations by some leaders (Yukl, 2006). The leader inspires others positively by encouraging them to follow the footsteps, while others work in the aim of inspiring the charismatic leader. There is inspiration to work smarter in the aim of acquiring success.

Management is one of the most important applications of charismatic leadership especially during the difficult circumstances, when the firm or organization is in need of major changes. The charismatic leaders develop excellent solutions during the crisis management situations (Yukl, 2006).

Representation for charismatic leadership

The leader ought to have an engagement to continual assessment procedure in the line of duty and have mechanisms to assist in formulation of visions. Secondly is the ability to communicate the formulated visions or organization’s goals. This requires the leaders to have motivational and good persuasive arguments. Thirdly is the need for an ability to build subordinate trust through enhanced commitment.

The staff must have the desire to support the goals set out by the leader. There is call for more than just compulsive administration, thus the leader has to enhance transparency and show the viability of the goals through taking risks and enhanced self-sacrifice without conservative expertise. Lastly, the leader has to focus on achievement of the set objectives or vision by ensuring perceptible aspects of good role models, empowerment and expertise tactics among the subordinates (Yukl, 2006).

Strengths of the charismatic leadership style

The results of the endeavours are relatively strong with unchallenged intensity over subordinate obedience to their leader. During the difficult times and experiences, the style is more useful because of the ability to provide ample turnaround point. It is possible to consider the system as extremely effective due to the possibility of a right vision of the leader or other rhetorical capabilities. The system that engages the charismatic leadership style brings in an energetic nature, clear vision and commendable perspective.

Benefits of charismatic leadership

The charismatic leadership style is more useful during the short-term projects because they are worth the risk of involving a leader. Such projects probably requires strong energy and talented leaders thus the need for a charismatic leader. In line with (Yukl, 2006), the charismatic traits are special but a leader can acquire most of the traits such as self-confidence or communication skills that involves effective vocabulary. Confidence is transferable from the leader to the subordinate.

Limitations of charismatic leadership

When the system is made of very strong levels of administrations lacking proper delegation, there is a tendency of gathering a workgroup made of weak people. Secondly, it is very rare to find leaders who have these charismatic skills and attributes. The rare situation of existence of the special cases may be the root cause of narcissism aspects such as insensitivity to others and lack of reality on the undertakings. When a leader lacks some conflicting point of views within the group setting, they lack accountability.

The charisma value enables them to develop good intentions on others in the aim of achieving transformation in the company; bad intentions can however deceive others. The unpredictability of the leaders makes the charismatic system of leadership potentially precarious.

Group members under the charismatic leadership style, view success in a close relation to the leader thus end up depending fully on the leader. Lastly, the leader is the main catalyst on the development of the group thus a sudden step down is likely to bring down the group or cause loss of enthusiasm.


Charismatic leadership involves grace and appeals in the aim of bring together followers. Leaders need self believe others to admire their personality. The style of charismatic leadership involves attraction of the subordinate support through impression of personality and charm as opposed to power and external influences.

There trait to improve the feeling of appreciation among the group members becomes one of the main aim of a charismatic leader because they pay attention to the environment, in the aim of picking up the moods and individual’s concerns within a large audience. Management of the image is of grate concern to these leaders.

Self sacrifice and risking enhances trust and development of personal skills. Persuasion and use of body as well as verbal language such as use of symbolism and metaphors is equally important to enhance the desired effect.

Today the political, religious and cult leaders mimic the charismatic styles of governance in the aim of gathering large number of followers. This is an indicative that one is able to increase charismatic skills through acquisition and practice. Formation of a very distinct and clear group among others enables charismatic leaders to enhance their image.


Clark, D. R. (2008, August 21). Leadership style. [online] Journal of Social Psychology, pp. 221-228. Available at

Daft, R.L. and Marcic, D. (2008) Understanding Management. Cengage Learning, Hargreaves, A. (2003). Teaching in the Knowledge Society. New York, NY: Teachers’ College Publishes. Print

Heifetz R A. (2004). Leadership without Easy Answers. London, UK: Harvard University Press. Print

Northhouse, P. G. (2009). Leadership: Theory and Practice. London, UK: SAGE Publication press. Print

Yukl, G. (2006). Leadership in Organizations. New York, NY: Prentice Hall Publishers. Print

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