Th Case for Charismatic Leadership

Charismatic people are described as inspirational, passionate, self-confident, insightful, ambitious, visionary, dynamic. In the corporate world a healthy portion of personal magnetism can enhance and multiply the effectiveness of every talent and skill within the organisation’s workforce.Empirical literature on charismatic leadership demonstrates that such leadership has profound effects on followers by strongly engaging followers’ self-concepts in the interest of the mission articulated by the leader.

If a corporate culture requires a change of mindset direction from a ‘cost busting’ and ‘hibernation’ to ‘growth’ and ‘innovation’ then the charismatic potential of the leadership team will be a significant factor in the organisation’s transition of this change.The Cremer and Knippenberg report published in the Journal of Applied Psychology,2002 used scenario experiments, cross-sectional surveys and laboratory studies to prove Charismatic Leaders had a stronger effect on cooperation than their non-charismatic peers.

Employee Engagement

Engagement at work was conceptualised by William A. Kahn as the “harnessing of organisational members’ selves to their work roles”. In engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during their performance at work. Engagement is a heightened level of ownership where each employee wants to do whatever they can for the benefit of their internal and external customers, and for the success of the organisation as a whole. Charismatic Leaders have an authentic power that captivates the hearts and minds of employees building higher engagement, increased productivity that ultimately leads to double-digit growth.

Organisational Change

Research studies estimate that organisations are wasting over $6 trillion dollars every year because of failed projects. Further studies highlight the disturbing trend that 70% of projects are not successful and the main reason for project failure is attributed to lack of stakeholder engagement. As organisations continually review and renew their strategic direction to remain competitive and profitable, more projects are created as a result of organisational change. A high proportion of employees do not respond positively to changes in their working environment, preferring to cling to the past because it was a more secure, predictable time. With a Charismatic Leader and a Charismatic Project Manager, stakeholder engagement is higher and employees respond more positively to proposed changes.

The War for Talent

Charismatic Leaders possess a unique and potent blend of attractiveness and presence that commands attention with an irresistible magnetic force. They exhibit the tendency to inspire greater levels of support and loyalty from others, resulting in an ability to create higher performing teams and stronger relationships with customers. Great people want to work for great leaders. The greatest differentiator among the organisations of the future will be the ability to build world-class capability. Charismatic Leaders who convey a strong personal brand image attract and retain talent.


Nikki Owen is an award winning speaker on charisma and has over 20 years experience in leadership and charisma development. She has also become a sought after media commentator and spokesperson, most recently being invited by press, radio and TV to comment extensively on party political debates.

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