Charisma and Transformational Leadership Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1527 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Leadership

Charisma and Transformational Leadership

The objective of this work is to examine the aspect of transformational leadership referred to as 'charisma' and to define this aspect of transformational leadership. This work will answer the questions of: (1) What is the supposed relationship of 'charisma' to transformational leadership; and (2) What are the positive and negative aspects of 'charisma'. This work will further provide examples of each.

Charisma is defined as "a rare personal quality attributed to leaders who arouse fervent popular devotion and enthusiasm." (the Free Dictionary, nd) There is disagreement in view of charisma as it relates to transformational leadership. Barbuto (1997) states that charisma is "known as the magical gift or social phenomenon that leaders possess to encourage the followers to associate with or emulate the leader." (Dawdy, 2003) the work of Baruto (1997) states findings that "leaders can operate and transform a company with the dimensions of inspiration, intellectual stimulation and individual consideration." (Dawdy, 2003) This includes the fact that "transformational leaders tried to instill feelings of independence and empowerment within their followers, whereas charismatic leaders instill a sense of dependence with their subordinates." (Dawdy, 2003) While charisma is one aspect of transformational leadership, "it appears that charismatic leadership can be contradictory to that of transformational leadership." (Dawdy, 2003)

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Term Paper on Charisma and Transformational Leadership Assignment

The work of Deluga (1990) and Schermerhorn et al. (2000) "recognize four dimensions that make up the whole of transformational leadership. These dimensions include: (1) charisma; (2) inspiration; (3) intellectual stimulation; and (4) individualized consideration. (Dawdy, 2003 p.5) Perle (1998) states that "it is the needed art of leadership requiring leaders to lead with heart, it is the implementation of trust and respect by positive role modeling. This aspect of transformational leadership appeared to be a strong factor in encouraging employee satisfaction by allowing the employees to perceive the leaders as effective and earnest, thus encouraging hard work and greater performance." (Dawdy, 2003 p.5) Barbuto (1997) posited that "transformational leadership can be just as effective without the magical energy so often correlated with charisma, especially if the leader is strong and true to the dimensions of inspiration, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration." (Dawdy, 2003) the discernment of Barbuto (1997) between inspiration and charisma is stated: "If a follower's enthusiasm stems from identification with the mission at hand then this is not charisma, it is inspiration. If however, followers' enthusiasm stem from emulation or identification with the leader, then this is charisma, not inspiration. (Barbuto, 1997, p.691) Barbuto (1997) acknowledges that the "tasks and the transformation may be just as strong and as effective if the followers are independent, motivated, and focused on the goal or the vision, not dependent on the leader for motivation." (Dawdy, 2003 p. 6) Motivational factors attributed as results of transformational leadership include: (1) good working conditions; (2) feeling involved; (3) appreciation; (4) good wages; (5) loyalty; (6) growth; (7) personal understanding; (8) caring management; and (9) interesting work. (Blanchard, 1990; as cited in Dawdy, 2003 p. 7) All of these motivational factors are within the spectrum of transformational leadership.


Intellectual stimulation "involves the promotion of realistic challenges that will enhance personal and professional growth. It also involves the need for creative thought and taking risks to solve a problem in a fashion that may not be considered as conventional." (Jung, 2001; as cited in Dawdy, 2003 p.7) Intellectual stimulation is inclusive of a provision of support for the subordinate's creativity in accomplishing the assigned task. When a leader vests trust, respect, interest and sincerely in their employees, the employees "will not only work hard because of the leader's loyalties to them..." But they will also be driven to prove the leader right by performing at higher levels and through personal and professional self-improvement. Individual consideration makes the provision of personal attention and treats all employees as an individual offering advice and coaching. (Schermerhorn, et al., 2000, p.302) Individual consideration is inclusive of: (1) communication; (2) listening; (3) reading between the lines and then acting upon what is heard. (Maxwell, 1999; as cited in Dowdy, 2003, p.8) Individual consideration involves empowering those who are being led and is a "major factors in transformational leadership." (Dawdy, 2003, p.8) Deluga (1990) relates that the manner in which an employee interacts with a leader and acts toward that leader is greatly dependent upon the style of leadership. Deluga (1990) Interactions with transformational leaders tend to be through a "...soft approach to influence transformational leaders...Subordinates may resort to a friendly and a nonthreatening soft approach when attempting to influence a leaders whose ongoing approval is highly valued." (p. 201) the work of Menon (2001) holds that employees of transformational leaders are provided encouragement for independence, creative thinking and personal and professional growth while Charismatic leaders encourage dependency in their employees "based on their energy and 'magic gift'." (Dawdy, 2003, p. 10)

The work of Joseph H. Boyett (2006) entitled: Transformational Leadership: The Highly Effective Leader/Follower Relationship" states that according to Burns:.." The transformational leaders recognizes and exploits an existing need or demand of a potential follower...looks for potential motives in followers, seeks to satisfy higher needs, and engages the full person of the follower. The result of transformational leadership is a relationship of mutual stimulation and elevation that converts followers into leaders and may convert leaders into moral agents." (1978, p.4) Burns makes identification of four components of transformational leadership which are those of: (1) Idealized influence / Charisma; (2) Inspirational motivation; (3) Individualized Consideration; and (4) Intellectual stimulation. (1978) Boyett (2006) states that idealized influence or charisma are behaviors that "have to do with shaping the follower's perceptions of their leader's power, confidence and ideals." (p.3) Leaders who demonstrate these qualities "display conviction, emphasize trust, take stands on difficult issues, present their most important values, emphasize the importance of purpose, commitment, and the ethical consequences of decisions." (Bass, 1997, p.133) the behaviors of inspirational motivation are stated to have to do "with the leader's efforts to inspire and motivate his/her followers to tackle ambitious goals and raise follower's self-confidence in their ability to achieve these seemingly impossible goals." (Boyett, 2006 p.4) Individualized consideration "...refers to efforts on the part of a leader to provide emotional and social support to his/her followers and to develop and empower them through coaching and counseling." (Boyett, 2006, p.4) According to Burns (1978) leaders who demonstrate individualized consideration "deal with others as individuals; considering their individual needs, abilities, and aspirations: listen attentively; further their development; advise; teach; and coach." (p.133) Boyett (2006) states that intellectual stimulation "refers to the leader's effort to challenge followers intellectually, to encourage them to question their assumptions and the status quo and to seek innovative and creative solutions to problems." (p. 5) Bass states that leaders who demonstrate intellectual stimulation: "...questions assumptions, traditions and beliefs; stimulate in others new perspectives and ways of doing things; and encourage the expression of ideas and reasons." (p.133)


The negative aspects of charisma as noted in the work of Boyett (2006), Dawdy (2003), Menon (2001), and Barbuto (1997) are the creation of a feeling of dependency in the followers of the charismatic leader instead of instilling the positive qualities associated with transformational leadership.


Charisma develops devoted and oftentimes uninspired followers while transformational leadership develops leaders. There is great value in the charisma component of transformational leadership. Followers describe idealized influence/charisma as follows: (1) I have complete faith in him/her; (2) He is a model for me to follow; (3) he/she goes beyond self-interest; (4) he/she has my respect; (5) he/she displays power and confidence; (6) he/she models ethical standards; (7) he/she talks about values. (Boyett, 2006, p.3) While these are just a few of the descriptions of the component of charisma in a transformational leader the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Charisma and Transformational Leadership.  (2007, October 2).  Retrieved July 11, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Charisma and Transformational Leadership."  2 October 2007.  Web.  11 July 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Charisma and Transformational Leadership."  October 2, 2007.  Accessed July 11, 2020.