What is Charismatic Leadership?

By Sean Stevenson – Latest Revision January 3rd, 2021

Charisma and leadership are skills that few ever obtain, and fewer still ever master.  Without charisma, you cannot achieve success.

Charismatic leadership itself, is being able to motivate people using your actions and words.  Guiding people to perform is a key role of leadership and is a learned practice. 

A refined presence, communication, and mannerism are integral to running a business.  Charismatic leadership is leveraging these aspects to create deeper interpersonal relationships.  This allows everyone to perform productively and professionally.

In today’s hyper-competitive business landscape, it is only natural that attracting and retaining in-demand employees has become a difficult proposition for many organizations. 

However, highly skilled and sought after employees are always attracted to charismatic leadership.  To them, it screams opportunity and security.  Moreover, charismatic leaders tend to be far more effective at developing their organization both internally and externally.

It is possible for anyone to become a charismatic leader.  Charisma itself is a skill that can be developed and improved upon. 

In this guide, we will learn about the principles, tips, tricks, and strategies of charismatic leadership.  

Defining The Charismatic Leadership Style

A charismatic leadership style relies on the powerful graces and persuasiveness of the leader.  Charismatic leaders are motivated to serve others and their organization.  By using their abilities as a skillful influencer, they can marshal the strengths of their organization.  This has a positive impact on the direction of the company as a whole.

Effective charismatic leadership strives to bring greater benefits to all stakeholders involved.  They tend to take a very active role in the-day-to-day affairs of most everyone, regardless of their rank.  This often places the charismatic leader in a unique position.  They are better able to understand the organizational issues their company must face.

A proactive placement of a charismatic leader would be in an organization that was fraught with internal difficulties.  This is where the charismatic leader tends to thrive.  They build or repair interpersonal relations internally.  Moreover, they find ways to strengthen the metrics of the company’s outputs.  Essentially, they can play peacemaker, while improving the company’s capacity to serve its customers.

As an exercise, try to think of other charismatic individuals.  Often, they do not appear as you might think they would.  It is their focus on people and results that sets them apart.  Again, this is a skill that anyone can develop.

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Examples of Charismatic Leadership

The world is full of charismatic leaders.  They exit both today and from the past.  Men and women who strove (and are striving) to become something greater than themselves.  These individuals seem to have limitless energy.  They are constantly driven by their focus.

Influence, power, and keen organization, are some of their hallmarks.  A truly successful charismatic leader can combine all three.  

Here is a list of some charismatic leaders to (hopefully) inspire you:

         1.  Steve Jobs

A well-known and excellent example of charismatic leadership was Steve Jobs. 

His now famous presentations on early renditions of the Mac PC, and the iPhone, have become the stuff of legend.  Although some claim Steve was not always a pleasant individual to be around, he undoubtedly did have an exceptional skill at reaching millions of people with brilliant new ideas. 

Moreover, it was through his charisma and business acumen, that Apple was saved from bankruptcy.  To this day, there exists a statue that was erected of Steve.  Located in Budapest, Hungary, it was made to commemorate him upon his death.

         2.  Bill Gates

Charismatic Leadership

Another well-known magnate of charismatic leadership is Bill Gates. 

The founder of Microsoft, one of the largest technological conglomerates on the planet.  Bill is also known for being extremely well-spoken.  Those who have had personal contact with Bill remark on how he often comes across as direct and intelligent.  Despite his enormous wealth, he remains entirely unassuming.

For anyone who wishes to improve their own charisma, studying Bill’s subtle style is a must.  He has a tendency to relate remarkable ideas effortlessly.  Without the need for any flair, Bill still has a deep impact on those he reaches.

Bill’s current net worth is estimated at $118.7 billion USD.

         3.  Winston Churchill

Charismatic Leadership

A sterling image of defiance and true charisma.  Winston Churchill stood strongly opposed to the Nazi regime during World War II.

His speeches rallied the British people against seemingly impossible odds.  During the darkest days it was Winston’s crackling voice over the radio.  He pushed his own people to impossible limits to safeguard the British Isles.

To this day, many herald him as one of the saviors of western civilization.  Undoubtedly, his speeches should be reviewed by anyone wishing to learn what it means to be a charismatic leader during difficult times.

         4.  Jack Ma

A Chinese business magnate of today.  Jack Ma is well known in many circles for being an early-adopter of the internet in China.

He has never written a line of code, nor made a single sale to a customer.  Yet it was his vision and sterling use of terminology that created an online landscape for China.  A place for his home country in the internet of things. 

Every charismatic leader should learn from Jack.  If you can solve a large-scale problem and motivate others to do the same, you too will one day become wealthy.

Ironically, Jack Ma himself often likes to cite how he was turned away by numerous opportunities for employment!  He was often told, “he was no good.”  I wonder how those same people would react now, given Ma’s net worth is currently estimated to be around $63 billion USD.

         5.  Elon Musk

Charismatic Leadership

Often cited for his “out of this world” ideology.  It would be remiss not to make Elon a part of this list.  His unusual and honest emails to employees (and shareholders alike) are often hailed as exemplary.  What draws people to Elon, is his underlying charisma and his ability to match the energy of others.

From PayPal, Space X, and even Tesla, Musk has left a massive footprint.  Undoubtedly, he will continue to do so in the future.

His current net worth is estimated at $144.1 billion USD.

Utilizing Charismatic Leadership

A skilled and charismatic leader recognizes that professional-grade workers are attracted to fact-based, and level-headed organizations.  These graces make any organization more effective in its day-to-day operations.  They tend to reflect a complete commitment and reverence for the company.  This includes all the stakeholders involved.  Their first concern is to produce excellent results by motivating.  Moreover, they strive to understand their workers at every level.

An effectively charismatic leadership within an organization, helps others to communicate.  It also evaluates their concerns.  By ensuring an energetic and fully engaged employee-base, they can promote active engagement.  This is key to retaining employees.  By making them feel valued, understanding their concerns, and acting where needed, a company can become more effective.

Here is a list of some charismatic leadership attributes to help you get started:


Confidence is contagious.  Charismatic leaders are well aware of this.  They strive to electrify those around them.  Instilling a sense of deep purpose by reinforcing common goals is their hallmark.  This exuberance allows for a high level of morale and optimism to thrive in the workplace. 

The respect and awe that a charismatic leader can instill in those around them, is something that influences the outcome.  When workers strive to emulate a model-figure’s actions, what they are really trying to do is better themselves.  The sign of any truly charismatic leadership is that they inspire with their messages.  People engage with better actions as a result of their guidance.

Charismatic leaders enable their people to become better than themselves.  They are forthright, honest, and trusted.  Due to their pleasant behavior, it is often noted that charismatic leaders are almost super humanly polite.  No matter another person’s station, they are always apt to treat that individual as an equal. They consider another’s concerns as if they were their own.

Illustrating The Importance of Charismatic Leadership

Uniting and motivating others -even during times of crisis- is integral to charismatic leadership.  Delivering powerful oratories and striving to engage with others allows them to connect with a broader base.  By leading through personal conviction and strength of purpose, a charismatic leadership can help others navigate through difficult times.  Moreover, they can become a catalyst for explosive growth within the company.  By funneling the strengths of their organization into increasingly profitable enterprise, they ensure growth.

Here is a list of the positive aspects that are associated with the importance of charisma in leadership:

Illustrating The dangers of non-charismatic Leadership

The opposite of charismatic leadership tends to be lack-luster management.  Often, it is mired in self-interest.  These authoritarians tend to be ignorant of the productive processes that lead to success.  Within the company, they are only concerned for themselves.  This makes them a liability. 

A disaffected leadership branch within an organization, can actually bring about its downfall.  Without a guiding hand of leadership to help employees reach their full potential, an organization will inevitably stagnate.

The following is a list of the contrasting negatives associated with a disaffected leadership:

Charismatic Leadership - Conclusion

We can easily understand charismatic leadership’s positive traits.  These come directly from its practice. 

Remaining unwavering and faithful to a positive vision of the future, is essential to its pursuit.  In this way, a charismatic leadership can fulfill ambitious goals.  This sort of conduct attracts investors, customers, and of course, capable employees. 

It is through charismatic leadership that an organization can transform itself.  Often, this transformation goes unrealized by those who are actively achieving it.  To them, they are simply following protocol.

For any organization attempting to become great, charismatic leadership and all it entails, is a necessity.

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