Leadership Essay

Pages: 7 (2071 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Leadership

Is charisma necessary?

Charismatic leadership is just one type of leadership. It is not necessary for a leader to be charismatic to be effective. Because charisma can affect motivation, charismatic leadership is often tied to transformational leadership. Overlooked is the role that charismatic leadership can have in transactional leadership. Often, transactional organizations must repeat their actions, ad nauseum sometimes, and it is here where there needs to be some fervency among the followers. A FedEx courier or Wal-Mart greeter engages in incredibly repetitive work, but they believe in the mission of the company and in their role in that mission. Charisma is not necessary a part of this, but a charismatic supervisor can convey the mission of the company and instill a sense of motivation among the workers that makes repetitive work seem meaningful and interesting.

Charismatic leadership is of course valuable during the transformation process. The key is that the charismatic leader inspires, and that inspiration coupled with structures that encourage creativity, will bring about the type of transformational change that is required in the organization. Given the need for secondary leaders to spread the message and execute the plans, a charismatic leader can be valuable simply to inspire the lower-level managers, let alone the rank-and-file.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Essay on Leadership the Concept of the Assignment

However, while there is clearly value in charismatic leadership, it is also worth noting that leadership need not be charismatic to be successful. A leader can use a number of different methods, tactics, and techniques to achieve the desired results. Yukl (2010) notes that, for example, formal authority can be just as effective as reverential authority. Systems and structures are almost always required to guide action, regardless of the level of inspiration within the company. Further, charisma of one leader is often subsumed within an organization to fervor for the organization as a whole. If there is reverence and inspiration, it can come from any number of sources. A Pope who is a skilled administrator can be effective in his job, because for members of his organization inspiration is supposed to come from above. There does not need to be a high level of loyalty to the Pope or buy-in to his message, as long as there is a common belief throughout the organization in the overall direction of the organization.

While charisma helps, the traits of leadership effectiveness do not have to include charisma. Being a skilled communicator is important, and can come from a relatively dry leader. Likewise, the abilities to understand, to synthesize, to organize and to delegate do not relate to the charisma of the leader. There are many other ways for leaders with low charisma to achieve the same results, using different techniques and different motivators for their followers. Charisma is a good trait for a leader to have, but it is not entirely necessary.


Conger, J. & Kanungo, R. (1987). Toward a behavioral theory of charismatic leadership in organizational settings. Academy of Management Review. Vol. 12 (4) 637-647.

Criulla, J. (2003). The ethics of leadership. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Riggio, R. (2012). What is charisma and charismatic leadership? Psychology Today. Retrieved September 28, 2013 from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201210/what-is-charisma-and-charismatic-leadership

Yukl, G. (1999). An evaluation of weaknesses in transformational and charismatic leadership theories. The Leadership Quarterly. Vol. 10… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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