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Importance of Moderate Charismatic Skills in Leadership

The term charisma (/kəˈrɪzmə/; pl. charismata, adj. charismatic) has two senses: (i) compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others; (ii) a divinely conferred power or talent. Often leadership and charisma are considered co- existent. They both go hand in hand. Research on charisma, usually emphasises on four important traits of charismatic leaders.

These include- high confidence; good at expression and attention seeking; exploring new ideas and problem solving skills; creativity and vision in order to accomplish goals. A study took place in order to determine the relationship between these qualities and leadership effectiveness. In one part of this study, individuals were asked to identify leaders they knew.  Those leaders filled out a variety of personality inventories including an inventory of charisma and a Big Five inventory (measuring Extraversion, Openness, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism).  People who knew each leader also rated how much of a charismatic leader they thought the person was. The study put forward two results: (i) The self-ratings of charisma are related with other people’s perceptions of whether that person was a charismatic leader; (ii) the dimensions of charisma are totally independent of the Big Five personality dimensions. The researchers have inferred that each of the dimensions of charisma can have both good as well as bad qualities. Hence, most successful and impactful leaders are moderately charismatic. Another study similarly concluded that moderately charismatic leaders are both adequately operational and strategic.

By: Anuja Arora


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