WHAT IS CHARISMATIC LEADERSHIP? Characteristics & Examples

what is Charismatic Leadership
Happy businessman having coffee with female colleague while siting at office cafeteria

Every leadership style focuses on a distinct aspect of the job. Some styles of leadership, such as democratic leadership, place a premium on human growth. Others, like bureaucratic leadership, concentrate on current processes and structures. Today, we’ll look at some charismatic leadership examples and how it’s been defined.

Charismatic Leadership Defined

Charismatic leadership is defined as leadership that uses communication abilities, persuasiveness, and charm to persuade others. Furthermore, charismatic leaders are especially beneficial in organizations that are experiencing a crisis or are trying to move forward because of their ability to connect with people on a deep level.

Charismatic leaders use their charismatic personalities and outstanding communication skills to persuade colleagues and keep them motivated amid crises. If you’re a charismatic leader, you’ll be able to help your company move forward even if it’s struggling.

Leaders who use charismatic leadership are more likely to have a clear vision in business or politics, as well as the ability to address a large audience and persuade them with a persuasive speech. It’s also incomplete if it doesn’t pay attention to the leaders themselves. Unlike other leadership styles, this one emphasizes the leader’s personality and actions rather than the process or structure.

This leadership style is comparable to that of others. It and transformative leadership both rely on a leader’s ability to influence and sustain the people they manage during a crisis by reducing attrition and burnout. While transformational leaders rely on a common vision to effect change, charismatic leaders rely on their ability to motivate their followers. We can compare this to coaching leadership, with the exception that coaching leaders rely on 1:1 constructive feedback, whereas charismatic leaders persuade a large group of people.

Read Also: Leadership Coaching: What is Leadership Coaching

What Makes a Charismatic Leader?

A mix of traits characterizes charismatic leadership. Many of them work in tandem and can be used at different times to maximize efficiency. Consider the following eight charismatic leadership qualities:

#1. Communication.

A charismatic leader is able to explain job responsibilities and objectives to their team in a clear and concise manner. They communicate clearly and freely in a professional manner, without saying too little or too much.

#2. Compassion

A charismatic leader can demonstrate empathy and compassion by allowing his colleagues to talk freely. They are also receptive to their employees’ problems and passions, and they are eager to comprehend their emotions.

#3. Self-assurance

The concept of charisma is frequently associated with the concept of self-assurance. There are numerous reasons for having strong confidence in the business sector. The appropriate posture and body language, such as maintaining eye contact, project a confident picture.

#4. Self-control

A charismatic leader recognizes that he or she isn’t perfect. One of the worst characteristics of a leader is arrogance. Instead, a leader should be willing to accept responsibility for their own mistakes as well as those of their team.

#5. Self-awareness.

No matter how great a leader is, they must be aware of themselves and how others perceive them. Many unpredictable CEOs have no idea how much stress they put their personnel through. Charismatic leader, on the other hand, concentrates on knowing themselves and their positions within their team.

#6. Maturity.

A charismatic leader is someone who has been placed in a position of authority due to their maturity. Because of their expertise and experience, they can create and motivate a team to achieve the company’s objectives. They can achieve this by approaching everything they do with a sensible mindset. Furthermore, they are the one who orders and instructs.

#7. Optimism.

A leader should be upbeat with a “glass half full” attitude. If a problem arises, they reassure their employees that the problem can be resolved. By continuously looking on the bright side, they can also instill a good attitude in those around them.

#8. Dedication

Charismatic leaders are constantly full of energy and enthusiasm in everything they do. They are sincerely enthusiastic about their work. Also, this enthusiasm should rub off on other staff through clear communication and actions.

Read Also: 6 Elements for Effective Business Leadership

What Are the Pros and Cons of Charismatic Leadership?

Charismatic leaders can have a tremendous, beneficial impact on the people they lead and the organizations they lead. However, if used incorrectly, this leadership style can easily result in unforeseen effects. We’ve highlighted the benefits and drawbacks of this leadership style below to assist you in better grasping what these potential strengths and flaws might look like:


  • extremely inspiring and motivating
  • It promotes a sense of unity, teamwork, and friendship.
  • Encourages others to make positive changes.


  • One can become more preoccupied with oneself than with others.
  • Possibilities for becoming self-serving
  • Frequently regarded as superficial or deceptive.
Read Also: Participative Leadership: Style, Examples with Characteristics

Examples of Charismatic Leadership

Here are some examples of charismatic leadership from the past and today. Some people have been instrumental in bringing about enormous revolutions that have changed the course of history.

JR. Martin Luther King:

Martin Luther King Jr. was an African-American civil rights leader who led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States in the 1950s. For his devotion to nonviolence, he is an outstanding charismatic leadership exemplar.

Adolf Hitler:

Adolf Hitler, regarded as one of the most despised people in history, ascended to power solely through his oratory talents, a major trait of charismatic leaders. He persuaded audiences by reiterating that Germans were direct descendants of the Aryan race and that they were better and more powerful than everyone else. He exploited his charismatic leadership qualities to blame the Jews for the Germans’ demise.

Barack Obama:

After the 2008 elections, Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States. Obama’s most charismatic leadership qualities were his sympathetic public speaking abilities and humility, which impacted voters. His message of hope resonated with people and became a part of his legacy.

Indra Nooyi:

Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi is consistently named among the world’s most powerful women. She is praised for being a polite individual who embodies the attributes of a dynamic leader. She is an encouragement to all women who are attempting to strike a work-family balance.

Winston Churchill

During WWII, the outspoken British Prime Minister polarized opinion because, unlike most politicians at the time, he spoke frankly. Winston Churchill was enormously charismatic to a nation that had been beaten, but not defeated, in a period of strife and trouble as a result of this act of confidence and personal touch.

Margaret Thatcher 

The first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was well-liked both during and after her tenure. Margaret Thatcher was a powerful and self-assured lady of her day. She was also an open communicator who was prepared to listen to different perspectives and demonstrate humility when necessary.

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa was a compassionate giver who showed fortitude in the face of adversity. She was completely selfless and willing to give everything she had to aid those who were in need. Despite the challenging conditions and daily devastation, others followed her in her efforts.

Read Also: Participative Leadership: Style, Examples with Characteristics

How to Apply Charismatic Leadership

As previously discussed, one of the major disadvantages of charismatic leadership is its tendency to focus too much on the leader rather than the people. We advocate taking the following steps to avoid this from happening and to maximize the potential of this leadership style:

#1. Practice vulnerability

A widespread misconception about charismatic leaders is that they are not genuine. We propose practicing vulnerability to combat this. Vulnerability, on the other hand, is at the heart of human connection. Employees will be more trusting of you and find you more relatable if you’re brave enough to display your true self.

#2. Improve your listening abilities.

Assume you had a lengthy, meaningful discussion with someone at your workplace. You shared personal information with the other person throughout this conversation, and as a result, you felt closer to them. However, the next time you see them, they don’t seem to recall anything you said! This is an easy way to make someone feel bad and unimportant.

#3. Be open and honest.

Simply because it sounds good, don’t laud an employee or offer bogus promises. Because charismatic leaders focus on inspiring and encouraging others, they can easily slip into this trap. It’s all too easy to say things that aren’t totally accurate just to make someone feel better. Instead, make it a point to constantly communicate in an honest, true, and transparent manner. Your employees will learn to believe what you say over time and will come to rely on you for information and feedback.

Read Also: INCLUSIVE LEADERSHIP: Simple Trait of Inclusive Leadership

What Makes Charismatic Leadership So Crucial?

For instance, charismatic leaders can instill a strong sense of commitment, trust, and happiness in others and motivate them to perform at a greater level. They are therefore typically viewed by their subordinates as being more effective than less charismatic leaders.

How Come Charismatic Leaders Fail Miserably?

A charismatic boss frequently maintains the bulk of influence in the workplace because he has such a strong sense of self-worth. Because he enjoys being in control or believes no one else can perform the tasks as well as he can, he could find it difficult to delegate control to others.

Are Charismatic Leaders Cultivated or Born?

Leaders with charisma are both created and born. There are people who are “naturally” charismatic, without a doubt, but leadership skills may also be learned.

Is Charismatic a Good or Bad Trait?

While charisma can lead to success, as history has shown, it can also lead to disaster. The negative side of charisma can be as subtle as a strong, assured leader who rules the group or organization and causes others to question their choices.

How Well Does Charismatic Leadership Work?

In times of uncertainty and existential threat, charismatic leaders frequently do extremely well. This leadership approach depends on being sensitive to the feelings and requirements of the followers. Because of this, individuals who lead through crises frequently serve as examples of legendary charismatic leaders.


You are genuinely an example of charismatic leadership if you can communicate, convince, and influence employees for increased work efficiency and job happiness. If you believe you have the necessary charisma to lead in this manner in your organization, please let us know if this material was helpful in terms of how charismatic leadership can be defined, and also provide examples!

Charismatic Leadership FAQs

What is a charismatic leadership style?

Charismatic management or leadership is a type of professional advice or management based on excellent communication skills, persuasiveness, and perhaps even a little charm to assist them to get the most out of everyone who works for them.

What are the three types of charismatic leaders?

  • Socialized charismatic’s.
  • Personalized charismatic’s.
  • Office holders are charismatic’s.
  • Divine charismatic’s.

Why is charismatic leadership effective?

Charismatic leaders, for example, have the ability to motivate people to achieve higher levels of achievement and to establish deep levels of dedication, trust, and contentment in their followers. As a result, when compared to less charismatic leaders, their subordinates regard them to be more effective.

How would you describe a charismatic person?

Someone with a captivating personality possesses both social and leadership abilities. They engage and persuade others with their warmth and skill. Self-awareness, open body language, active listening, and treating each individual with equal respect are all behavioral attributes that may be learned.

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