How Does Charisma Relate To Effective Leadership And What Cross Cultural Implications Might Derive From Charismatic Communication?

1899 words - 8 pages

Charismatic leadership.Charisma is a peculiar, strange and puzzling phenomenon. It transformed a small time painter from Austria into the epitome of a demagogue, and ultimately the draftsman of the greatest genocide through history. He took a nation, crippled in its economy, with extreme unemployment, and turned it into one of the most powerful nations in the world, in only ten years. On the other side of the equation of evil, but also a great leader with masses of charisma is Martin Luther King Jr. a man draped in credibility, charisma and courage, who even went to jail for the things he believed in. The Baptist minister, with a PhD, something very few African Americans possessed at the time, drew an enormous crowd at his I have a dream speech.Weather you are a politician, a dictator, a manager for a small business or team leader at work, influence and persuasion is eminent.How does charisma relate to effective leadership and what cross-cultural implications might derive from charismatic communication?CharismaCharisma originates from Greek, and means "divine favor" (http://dictionary.refrence.com), such as performing miracles or foreseeing the future. Since the dawn of literature, starting in ancient Mesopotamia with the epic of Gilgamesh, through the ancient Greek literature, right up to the spread of Christianity, divine virtue has been a essential need for the hero's success.Dr.Alessandra says, "Charisma is easy to spot but hard to describe. Nailing down a definition is like trying to define America, or happiness, or what constitutes a terrific meal or a great vacation," (2000, p.9) this is being reinforced by Mason who claims that "you can't ever pin down the elusive quality that gives charismatic leaders their awesome power." (2004, pp.19-20)We all have our own idea of what charisma is; yet putting words to it seems exceedingly difficult, yet a definition is still in need. Sellers claims (1996, pp. 67-74) that "Charisma is the remarkable ability to get others to endorse one's vision and promote it passionately." Put in layman's word, it is the ability to influence and persuade others by seeming to possess exceptional qualities.Effective leadership'Effective leadership is the process of influencing others towards the achievement of a goal'. (Robbins et al. 2003, p.382) An effective leader inspires, motivates, mobilizes and leads other people towards a common goal. When looking at charisma and leadership, we see a correlation between the traits of charisma and effective leadership, as both in the end is a tool to attain the preferred outcome of a set of actions.An excellent example of charismatic and effective leadership can be seen in Julius Caesar. He mobilized his men to combat the Gaul's; he inspired and motivated them, before leading them into battle. With the Gaul's at gast and Vecingetorix surrendering, Julius Caesar had reached the goal he set for himself as governor. His enormous leadership ability would see him conquer all of Gaul...

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