2 Nov 2022


Charismatic Leadership in Organizations

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Leadership is a collection process in which an individual uses to bring together and manage resources to achieve the specific aim; an effective leadership has a direct Impact on the followers in the right manner to achieve desired organization goals. Each leadership style has different effects on performance and effectiveness of the organization. Leaders come up with plans, look for resources and allocate those resources. Today, most people are writing and seeking to understand the practices and concepts of leadership. There are many reasons for the strong popularity of the topic which include groups, organizations and people who are faced with many changes than before. Understanding and navigating through the many changes needs effective leadership style. Leading is all about direction setting and making sure that the instructions are followed. Leading involves leading oneself, other people, societies, organizations as well as groups. The nature leadership depends on one’s perspective, the context of the situation, and the needs and nature of the one’s involved. Charismatic leaders are from all the walks of life. This leadership style not only applies to business but also political and social movements and religious institutions. 

In the early 16th century, Machiavelli provided a manual known as “The Prince” to gain and keep leadership. In the year 1958, Max Weber, a German sociologist first published his book called “the Three Types of Legitimate Rule.” In his book, Weber classified authority for governments and organizations into; charismatic, traditional and legal. During the 19th century, the explanation of anarchist thought put the whole idea of leadership into question. Leninism responded to the denial of elitism, which was demanding a group of elites of disciplined regiments to act as leading units at the front of the army of social revolution, bringing into existence the dictatorship of the proletariat (White, 2016). Other approaches to the history of leadership address the apparent contrast between religious and secular leadership. The beliefs of Caesaro-papism have reemerged and have the detractors over numerous years. The Christian view on leadership has emphasized on stewardship of the provided divine resources and their deployment according to the desired plan. 

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My chosen leadership style is Charismatic leadership. This style of leadership depends on leaders’ persuasiveness and charm. Charismatic leaders are motivated by commitment and conviction to their goals and objectives. Charismatic leaders are sometimes known as transformational leaders as they share many similarities (In Avolio & In Yammarino, 2013). Their primary distinction is audience and focus. In most cases, charismatic leaders try to improve their status quo, whereas transformational leaders concentrate on changing organizations into the vision of leaders (Zehndorfer, 2016) 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the charismatic leaders who used his persuasive oratory, unwavering commitment as well as an engaging personality to positively change the lives of many individuals. What distinguishes charismatic leaders is the essential skill in communication, that means they are people who can eloquently communicate verbally as well as communicating with his or her followers on a deep emotional level. In times of crisis, charismatic leaders are mostly identified since they exhibit an exceptional rare commitment to and expertise in their field. They are individual with clear goals and objectives in politics or business, and they have an ability to engage with a huge crowd (Czövek, 2007). The definition of charismatic leadership is not complete without the focus on the personality of the leader (Zehndorfer, 2016). More than other modern styles of leadership, charismatic leadership largely depends on the personality and director’s action but not the structure or process. It is a method of leadership that is recognized by many people although it may be perceived with less tangibility when compared to other styles of leadership. 

Many people argue that charisma is not necessary for effective leadership. This point was made by Davis Dyer who was the founder of Winthrop Group in Massachusetts. Charismatic leaders typically inspire the employee to perform to increase productivity. Both charismatic and autocratic styles of leadership often improve the productivity of the workers, and the only distinction between the two is that charismatic leaders inspire employees to perform well whereas authoritarian leaders use power to ensure high employee performance (Stutje, 2012). This style of leadership has various advantages. Charisma is viewed as a powerful tool used in the motivation of staff as well as getting support from the employees. A charismatic leader has the capability to put his or her influence on giving positive outcomes for the company. Negative traits of charismatic leaders may also exist. 

Some of the positive qualities of charismatic style of leadership include; 

i. Extraordinary communication skills which motivate the employees when under hard times. It also assists them to stay grounded when things are doing well. The leaders are comfortable to communicate either to groups of people or one-to-one. 

ii. A charismatic leader should be attentive listeners. They should not be fidgeting or look distracted while listening to the communicator. They pay attention to what is being said and follows it keenly with interest. They act with empathy while engaging in conversations. 

iii. Warm, active and open body language. They should make eye contact with whom they are communicating to, smile always and be able to introduce themselves to strangers. They are authentic and have an endearing swagger. 

iv. Humility which makes leaders place value on every employee and have the ability to listen to the concerns of the workers’. A charismatic leader should be equipped to convince employees or the congregation of the value that they bring and show them the impacts of their contribution to the strategic interest of the organization. 

v. Compassionate leaders. Charisma alone is not sufficient because there is an actual possibility that it can disintegrate into mere hero worship. Integrity, fortitude, compassion and honesty are other traits of a successful, charismatic leader. 

vi. Self-monitoring is another trait. They tend to watch themselves carefully and are aware of their dominant personality and the fact that their audiences are following them closely and continuously. For this reason, they should show a good image to their followers. 

vii. Finally, confidence is another positive trait of charismatic leaders. They are comfortable with who they are and understands themselves well. Charismatic leaders are secure and confident, sufficient to be comfortable in their skin (Conger & Kanungo, 2003). 

In spite of the above traits, charismatic leadership also exhibits some few negative traits as follows; 

i. It risks lack of clarity. Sometimes charismatic leaders are unable to see clearly the possible dangers that are threatening the organization. They may potentially miss a threat to the business economic welfare because they don’t have other management personnel with similar information. 

ii. It may result in the negative perception of the leader. Most of the charismatic leaders take the role of self-serving which they may not be able to get the employees to buy into intentions. Other essential qualities to back up charisma are necessary to make a quality leader who has best intentions of the organization at heart (Conger & Kanungo, 2003). 

iii. It may result in the lack of visionaries and successors. Charismatic leaders believe too much in themselves thus retaining most of the control in the office leading them to difficulties in turning over control to others. The situation can leave the company with no knowledgeable successors if the current leader leaves. 

The approach by the head influences the productivity of the employees and the entire organization. The effectiveness of the organization is dependent on each department, led by the manager performing the work and resulting in the success of the team. Therefore the manner in which the leader makes decisions, delegates’ duties and interacts with the entire staff may affect the performance and productivity of the employees (Strong, 2009). 

This leadership style may influence communication in the organization thus affecting productivity. Effective leaders communicate frequently and clearly to ensure that the employees understands the strategic position of the company and therefore taking action. The charismatic leadership style influences the ability for one to interpret the message. It inspires the employees to work extra hard by giving a motivating picture of the future. During difficult economic times, honest and transparent communication from the leaders helps to focus their job and not getting distraction from rumors. This will boost the employee morale and enhance productivity and make the organization efficient (Aronica, 1987). Charismatic leadership sets clear goals for the organization. Clear goals ensure that the employees know what they are expected to do in the company. This style of leadership impacts the morale of the employee which also influences the performance and productivity. The goals set should be specific, attainable, measurable time-constrained and realistic else it will lead to absenteeism and low morale which leads to low productivity, the little satisfaction of the customer and organizational ineffectiveness. 


Aronica, M. T. (1987). Beyond charismatic leadership: The New York Catholic Worker Movement . New Brunswick, U.S.A: Transaction Books. 

Miner, J. B. (2015). Organizational behavior 1: Essential theories of motivation and leadership . Routledge. 

Conger, J. A., & Kanungo, R. N. (2003). Charismatic leadership in organizations . Thousand Oaks, Calif. [u.a.: Sage. 

Czövek, T. (2007). Three seasons of charismatic leadership: A literary-critical and theological interpretation of the narrative of Saul, David and Solomon . Eugene, Or: Wipf and Stock Pub. 

DuBrin, A. J. (2015). Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills . Nelson Education. 

In Avolio, B. J., & In Yammarino, F. J. (2013). Transformational and charismatic leadership: The road ahead

Strong, C. R. (2009). The role of charismatic leadership in ending the Cold War: The presidencies of Boris Yeltsin, Vaclav Havel, and Helmut Kohl . Lewiston [u.a.: Mellen. 

Stutje, J. W. (2012). Charismatic leadership and social movements: The revolutionary power of ordinary men and women . New York: Berghahn Books. 

White, J. (2016). History of african-american leadership . Place of publication not identified: Routledge. 

Zehndorfer, E. (2016). Charismatic leadership . Place of publication not identified: Routledge. 

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