Charismatic Leadership Characteristics and Examples of Great Leaders

Last Updated on October 28, 2022 by Milton Campbell

Picture a world where people want to follow you. They rarely question what you say. They get excited when you enter the room. This is what the charismatic leadership style can provide you.

Being charismatic is not required to be a good leader. But will provide you with many more options and will make leadership much easier. In this article, you will find out what a charismatic leader is. Including the charismatic leadership characteristics. Learn exactly how to be more charismatic in leadership and all aspects of your life. 

Let’s jump right in by defining the charismatic leadership style and then we will discuss some charismatic leadership examples to build a better understanding of how to use this style of leadership.

What Is the Charismatic Leadership Style?

Charismatic leadership is a leadership style in which a leader uses charisma to motivate and influence employees. Charismatic leaders know how to tap into the emotions of others to build inspiration. 

Charismatic Leadership Characteristics

Communication – This is one of the most important skills for a charismatic leader. The way in which a charismatic leader communicates to others is vital. They communicate in a way that excites and motivates those around them. 

Confidence Charismatic leaders have to be confident in what they express. They believe they can achieve the outcomes they set their mind to. 

Optimism – Optimism is one of the crucial charismatic leadership characteristics. A positive outlook is crucial to getting others to follow leaders. Optimism is infectious. People want to follow a person that has a positive mindset.

Passion – Passion drives not only us but also those around us. Much like optimism, passion bleeds over to those around us. People feed off the passion of a charismatic leader.

How To Be A More Charismatic Leader

Find Your Passion

Think about something you love to do. How easy is it to talk to others about something that really interests you? I bet it’s a lot more exciting to talk about something you’re passionate about. 

To be a more charismatic leader you need to learn how to channel this passion. Use your passion to motivate others. Even if you are not exactly passionate about what you are doing, think about the things that make you passionate. Use that same energy on those tasks.

Be Enthusiastic

Sometimes things in life are boring. If they are boring to you, they are probably boring to others. When you use the charismatic leadership style, you have to bring enthusiasm to even boring tasks. 

People’s feelings toward you directly correlate to how you make them feel. If you can make someone enjoy doing the normally boring things, they will feel good about being around you. 

Remember Names

Have you ever had someone say “hey you, do this for me”? If you have, I bet it didn’t make you feel very good or make you want to help them. We love to hear our names. It makes us feel like we mean something to the other person. Other people are the same way. If you can recall someone’s name after only meeting them one time, it will help build a strong relationship.

Make Others Realize Their importance

Everyone has value, but a lot of people have a hard time seeing just how valuable they are. Show people just how important they are. Don’t be afraid to let your people know about how the job wouldn’t get done if it wasn’t for them. This goes back to making people feel special. I can’t say it enough, if people feel special around you, they will want to do more for you.

Let People Know You Like Them

Think about how it would make you feel if someone tells you that you are a fascinating person. It would probably make you feel pretty good. 

If you make it known what you like about other people, they will be excited to be around you. Too often we are afraid to tell others that we like them because we don’t know if they feel the same way. By telling the person how we feel about them, they may realize how awesome you are. 

Don’t Overdo It

Don’t confuse charisma with being loud and obnoxious. This is usually the result of trying too hard. This type of behavior can push others away. Let your excitement, excite others, and not push them away.

Build People Up

Make those around you more successful and better people. People always remember when someone does something to make them a better person. This will make them want to be around you and follow you.

Make Eye Contact

Good leaders don’t just “talk”; they talk with their eyes. When you make eye contact with people, it shows that your words are not just idle chatter — they’re meant to connect with someone. It might feel like a small thing, but looking at the person you’re speaking to is a big step toward being more charismatic.

Also, remember to make eye contact with everyone in the room no matter who they are or what they do. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new employee or an executive at the top, ensure you are making eye contact with everyone.

See Related: How to Be More Charismatic (21 Surefire Ways)

Charismatic Leadership Examples

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King’s leadership style used many tools to turn his followers into a well-organized effective movement. He gave speeches, wrote articles, led marches, spoke on television, organized rallies, delivered inspirational speeches, started charities and so much more. Martin Luther King used his voice to deliver messages that resonated with his audience! 

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was an English statesman, historian, and writer who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century.

Through his writings and speeches, he inspired many to resistance against Nazi Germany in what became known as the Battle of Britain. He was also a political activist, serving in the British parliament for over 50 years, including 12 years as Prime Minister. A noted historian, his books on the Second World War, have been read by millions of people in many countries.

Winston Churchill’s leadership style was marked by his ability to inspire people to follow him without hesitation or question. He had a pre-eminent position in every organization he was part of, thanks to his unique personality and powerful communication skills.

Nelson Mandela

“People called me mad, but I knew if I could win the hearts and minds of my people; I would be able to bring this country out of the darkness and make it safe for everyone.” Quote from Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela’s rise to power in South Africa is one of the most remarkable stories in world history. He was imprisoned for 27 years on Robben Island before becoming President of South Africa in 1994. His legacy continues, and his inspiring leadership story inspires leaders everywhere.

See Related: 10 Interesting Leadership Myths Debunked!

Final Thoughts on What is Charismatic Leadership

The charismatic leadership style requires charismatic, magnetic personalities who are capable of influencing others to follow their direction. They tend to be good at handling people and can develop great rapport with them. 

You can do this too. It’s not necessarily something you’re born with, you can build this skill. Work on becoming a more charismatic leader and people will follow like never before.

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