What is the charismatic leadership style?
Charismatic leadership was one of the three leadership styles described by Max Weber along with bureaucratic leadership and traditional leadership. This style of leadership is based on a form of heroism or extreme of character almost of divine origin.
The characteristics of the charismatic style include the following: Leaders are viewed as having supernatural powers and abilities, the leader is viewed as a hero by followers; leaders are followed because of personal trust and the charisma the leader exhibits; followers are promoted based on personal charisma they exhibit; and there are no formal offices of authority, power is gained through social skills.
A charismatic leader is someone who sways followers with a dynamic, magnetic personality, usually through inspiring speeches. He is one who provides an environment full of energy and positive reinforcement. He gathers followers through dint of personality and charm, rather than any form of external power or authority. Charismatic leaders pay much attention to the person they are talking to at any one moment, making that person fee like they are, for that time, the most important person in the world. They pay a great deal of attention in scanning and reading their environment, and they are good at picking up the moods and concerns of both individuals and larger audiences. They even know how to adapt their actions and words to suit the situation.
Charismatic leaders inspire lots of enthusiasm in their teams and are very energetic in driving others forward. They are very persuasive and make very effective use of body language as well as verbal language. In the eyes of the followers, success is directly connected to the presence of the charismatic leader. Charismatic leaders may engender trust through visible self-sacrifice and taking personal risks in the name of their beliefs.
Trevor Lee, EP International