What Is Charismatic Leadership Style? How To Use It To Develop Your Leadership Style?

Mashum Mollah 1 September, 2022
Charismatic Leadership Style

“How can you have charisma? Be more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than you are making them feel good about you.” 

Dan Reiland

Have you ever been in the conference room with your reporting head or your company CEO and thought, “my god, this person is so magnetic and charismatic.”? Well, that is one way to look at the Charismatic Leadership style.

Different types of leadership skills have different approaches, and they work in their own genuine way of developing the industry. The charismatic leadership style, for example, focuses on encouraging the employees in an organization and making them work to their maximum potential.

While bureaucratic leadership focuses on following the regulations and the hierarchies within an organization, democratic leadership tries to develop the people within the organization. But, a charismatic leader takes advantage of their communication skill and sheer presence and inspires the employees to work the way they do.

So, without any delay, let’s dive into the charismatic leadership style and how it works for an organization.

Understanding What Is Charismatic Leadership Style?

Understanding What Is Charismatic Leadership Style?

The charismatic leadership style is a combination of charm, persuasiveness, and communication skill that helps a leader influence others. They can use these skills to influence others. Their ability to intimidate, and bond with people on a deeper level, make them prominent figures within an organization. This leadership style is valued within organizations that are struggling to move forward or are facing a moment of crisis.

They can create a sense of trust and tap into the emotions of the employees within the organization. These leaders can emotionally push their members and followers towards a greater purpose through their immensely persuasive communication skills. The charismatic leadership style shifts away from autocratic and another style of leadership through their interpersonal skills.

Background/History Of Charismatic Leadership Style

Background/History Of Charismatic Leadership Style

Max Weber is the proponent of several types of leadership styles. Weber is responsible for creating three models of legitimacy for political obligation. The second of the three models is personalistic. It puts an emphasis on power and the right of a “special” individual. Weber denotes it as “charisma.”

His study dating back to 1922 connotes the Charismatic Leadership Style with insignificant details. He observed people’s tendencies to abide by authority and people in authority. According to his deduction, we do it because they provide validity and meaning.

Authorities are usually perceived to be right, just, and good. That is why people follow them. This Charisma by a person of authority is mainly based upon their appearances and not the actions of such leaders. Politics and sociology are the more prominent driving force of the charismatic leadership style than action.

Weber talks about three components that make up the Charismatic style of leadership –

  • Psychological dimension: Focusing on the inner qualities of the leader.
  • The Social Aspect: The external sources shaping the leader drives the social aspect.
  • Relational Dimension: The leader-subordinate relationship relates to the rational dimension.

Later on, Weber elaborated upon how the Charismatic Leadership style can deepen the relationship between the employee and the leaders in his 1958 book “The Three Types Of Legitimate Rule,He also elaborated on how it may cause the loss of legitimacy once the support is pulled off.

Later on, Robert Tucker says –

Robert Tucker

Robert J. House also expanded upon Weber’s work and published his paper “A 1976 Theory of Charismatic Leadership,”. He viewed this leadership from more of a psychological point of view.

According to him, these leaders possess behavioral and personal characteristics to inspire because they are capable of showing people vision and determination and maximizing their confidence.

Know More: Servant Leadership

Characteristics Of Charismatic Leadership Style

There is a little but visible difference between transformational leadership style and charismatic leadership style. The charismatic style of leadership focuses on working within the status quo, While the transformational leader creates an entirely new path.

These leaders create a great example for the employees through their persuasive communication skills and evoke a strong sense of emotion towards work. Here are some notable characteristics of the same.

Eloquent Communication Skill

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

A charismatic leader is an eloquent speaker who speaks aptly and delivers their thought more openly. Their persuasive tongue helps them motivate, intimidate and persuade the people who follow them. They leave no room for repercussions for themselves and their employees.

Empathetic And Relatable

Ernest Hemingway

These leaders are passionate about what they speak. They are also compassionate towards their employees. They care about openness and concerns and are more willing to understand their subordinates. They have good listening skills, and they are easy to relate to. They have the advantage of emotional intelligence.

Unwavering Confidence

Mark Twain

Charismatic leader is strongly confident about their work. They take the challenges head-on. Their presence is filled with confident body language and posture, and they never miss eye contact when speaking. They are capable of creating an image of a confident person. They take better control of a situation.

Great Motivational Skill

APJ Abdul Kalam

Charismatic leader can motivate their employees. Their persuasive voice and way of understanding the employees help them motivate the employees to an extreme level. Their capability to raise an emotional spark within their subordinates is phenomenal.

Engaging And Charming

Henry Van Dyke

The charm of a charismatic leader’s personality is a very integral part of their personality. They have an aura that makes their subordinates around them feel inspired and work at the same level as them.


Colin Powell

A charismatic leader is always optimistic. When an organization is facing a crisis or if they are feeling stagnant, these leaders can give them the optimistic and motivational push to break the boundary and move forward.

Charismatic Leadership: What’s Good…And What’s Not So Good?

There is not everything so positive about a charismatic style of leadership. We cannot also tell that the negative sides overshadow the positive ones. This style of leadership indeed inspires the employees within an organization. However, sometimes such leaders are also perceived as shallow. Here are some advantages of this leadership and its disadvantages.

The Advantages Of Charismatic Leadership Style: Pros

Max Weber
  • A leader of such style is Highly motivating and inspirational. 
  • They Encourage a sense of collaboration, union, and enthusiasm. 
  • Followers feel understood and heard under their leadership.
  • They inspire a connection among team members or employees.
  • They manifest focus and commitment through their motivational speech.
  • The strong motivating qualities of such leaders create real results. 

The Disadvantages Of Charismatic Leadership Style: Cons

  • These leaders can often become more focused on themselves and forget about their people. 
  • Their approach may be seen as shallow and disingenuous, and question the intentions behind their actions. 
  • They may become self-serving at times. 
  • These leaders often develop an inability to see the errors in their methods and ways.

Charismatic Leadership Style: Case Studies (Examples)

You already know the different traits of this leadership style. But knowing the traits alone might not help. Here are two examples of Charismatic leaders who have inspired and influenced people who followed them.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was an innovator, and he changed the world of technology in more ways than we can possibly thank him for. He is known for his remarkable vision and charismatic leadership skills. While he was leading Apple, he influenced many of his employees to be technically innovative.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. 

Martin Luther King had the quality of charm in his personality. He could inspire people and make people feel what he felt. He had a great story-telling voice that allowed him to convey his feelings toward the greater good. He could make his inspiring words resonate in the hearts of his followers.

How To Become A Charismatic Leader? 

As I have explained above, a charismatic leader needs to develop different qualities like communication skills, have a certain aura about them, and be passionate. Here are some skills that you need to master if you are aiming to become a charismatic leader.

Practicing Vulnerability

Practicing Vulnerability

A common negative trait of the charismatic style of leadership is trying to be authentic and chasing after correctness. This has the potential to make a leader appear shallow over time. Yes, you need to put forward your thoughts and demonstrate strength. But, you should also practice vulnerability to build more trust towards your subordinates.

Be Better At Listening

Be Better At Listening

Charismatic leader is just as good speaker as they are listeners. You can only arouse a strong sense of passion within your subordinate if you listen to them earnestly. Only by listening properly can a leader show a proper sense of compassion to their subordinates.



The sense of throwing your charm around and inspiring the people around you might often tempt you to overdo it. There is no need to praise an employee with empty promises. You should always remember that speaking is easier. As a charismatic leader, you should always be transparent with your subordinates and make thoughtful decisions and comments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

I hope all of your queries are answered by now. However, if there are any further queries and questions, you may take help from the ones I have answered below.

Q1. What Are 3 Characteristics Of Charismatic Leadership?

The three main characteristics of charismatic leadership are –
1. Great communication. 
2. Persuasiveness.
3. The charm of personality. 

Q2. What Is The Main Focus Of A Charismatic Leader?

The main focus of charismatic leadership is to elevate an organization from a stagnant position and inspire the employees to improve their performance through motivational communication, charm, and persuasiveness.

Q3. How Do You Use Charismatic Leadership?

If you want to use charismatic leadership, here are things that you need to remember,
1. You should focus on building a connection on a deeper emotional level.
2. You need to be light and yet productive.
3. Be trustworthy and honest.
4. A leader of such a style needs to be confident.
5. Be committed to a goal.

Is Charismatic Leadership Effective?

It is crucial to understand that different styles of leadership have different effects, and they are not compatible in all industries. Charismatic leadership styles are often perceived as being too positive and less effective than they sound. This report comes from 600 different businesses. Sometimes leaders with both high and low levels of Charisma tend to perform lesser than leaders with moderate levels of Charisma.

I think all of your queries are answered. If there are any, you can ask us questions in the comment. We will try to reach out to you as soon as possible.

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Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is a tech entrepreneur by profession and passionate blogger by heart. He is on a mission to help small businesses grow online. He shares his journey, insights, and experiences in this blog. If you are an entrepreneur, digital marketing professional, or simply an info-holic, then this blog is for you.


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