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FROM THE TEXTBOOK:
Most experts today acknowledge three crucial elements of charismatic leadership:
1. Charismatic leaders envision likely future trends and patterns, set high expectations for
themselves and for others, and behave in ways that meet or exceed those expectations.
2. Charismatic leaders energize others by demonstrating personal excitement, personal confidence,
and consistent patterns of success.
3. Charismatic leaders enable others by supporting them, empathizing with them, and expressing
confidence in them.
MLK, Mother Theresa, Ronald Reagan, and Lee Iacocca were all charismatic leaders. Some people have
concerns in regards to charismatic leadership because charismatic leaders can inspire such blind faith in
their followers, potentially leading them to engage in inappropriate, unethical, or even illegal behaviors
just because the leader told them to. Adolf Hitler was a charismatic leader. Taking over a leadership role
from a charismatic leader is also a challenge. For instance, immediate successors to Vince Lombardi and
Phil Jackson each failed to measure up to their predecessors’ legacies and were subsequently fired. More
than other popular leadership styles, charismatic leadership depends on the personality and actions of
the leader — not the process or structure. Charismatic leaders also are sometimes called
transformational leaders because they share multiple similarities. Their main difference is focus and
audience. Charismatic leaders often try to make the status quo better, while transformational leaders
focus on transforming organizations into the leader’s vision. Charismatic leaders are often identified in
times of crisis and exhibit exceptional devotion to and expertise in their field. They are often people
with a clear vision in business or politics and the ability to engage with a large audience.
difference between charismatic leadership and other styles
“Charismatic leadership is a leadership style that is recognizable but may be perceived with less
tangibility than other leadership styles,” writes Mar Bell in “Charismatic Leadership Case Study with
Ronald Reagan as Exemplar.”
Charismatic leadership is similar to other styles. Both it and transformational leadership rely on the
ability of the leader to in<uence and inspire followers. Transformational and charismatic leaders
motivate the individual or those around them to be better and to work for the greater good of an
organization or society. Other similarities include:
Leaders rally those around them in service of a common goal
Initiative and boldness are encouraged
The differences between charismatic and transformational leadership styles lie primarily in how the
individual is viewed.
The personal vision of a charismatic leader has a great deal of in<uence over his or her audience
Charismatic leaders speak about their moral compass or passion rather than an existing method