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3 Dangers of Charismatic Leadership

https://www.inc.com/brian-evje/three-dangers-of-charismatic-leadership.html

inc.com

3 Dangers of Charismatic Leadership
Very few leadership attributes have as dangerous a downside as charisma. This is largely true because the outward signs of good charisma and bad charisma are similar. Here are three broad categories of dangerous charisma, and how to avoid them in your personal leadership. 1.

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Addicted to charisma

A leader who employs too much charisma can come to rely on this ability as an end unto itself.  Charismatic leaders can charm themselves. 

Authentic leaders understand (and continually calibrate) the influence and authority they have by virtue of their position and personal attributes.

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Becoming addicted to a charismatic leader

An overly-charismatic leader draws focus from the rest of the organization by demanding all the attention. When the focus shifts to the personal characteristics of the leader, accountability is diminished.

The followers can become overly dependent on the leader for all manner of large and small directions and decisions. The enterprise loses the ability to be resilient in the face of changing realities. 

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To avoid organizational dependency

... leaders must ask themselves:

  • Do I spend my time empowering others to make decisions, or does my involvement force people to look to me for answers?
  • How often do I dive into details that belong to others?
  • How do my actions and attention help – or prevent – others from taking greater responsibility and accountability for their actions?

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Charisma without purpose

Organizations with big visions are led by people who display significant charisma in order to keep the vision moving forward. 

The leader must supply more charisma to keep the dynamic humming; the need shifts to growing charisma, not the organization’s ability to grow itself. 

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Influencing for the wrong reasons

If you feel like you're influencing others for the wrong reasons, ask:

  • How am I drawing attention to myself, and away from others?
  • What is the organization missing while it’s focusing on me?
  • If my company relies on me too much, what happens if I need a break, or become ill, or want to do something different?
  • What do I do when I don’t know what to do and have not built up others to contribute?
  • What do I do when all my old tricks of charisma or being “smart” don’t suit some future challenge?
  • What happens if my moral compass becomes shaky, or if I did not develop one before becoming the charismatic leader everyone adores?
  • If I have created this reliance on me, who will help me recognize this and change?

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The Vulnerability Effect

When we admit our weakness, we are more human, likeable and authentic. This honest and imperfect person becomes charismatic, something known as the vulnerability effect.

While conducting a study of two women selling blenders at a mall, it was found that the ‘clumsy’ lady seller, who often forgot to close the lid and spilt smoothie on herself was considered more likeable and charismatic. The other more perfect woman who had a perfectly good presentation was not considered as charismatic.

Great Conversationalists Don’t Talk Much

Being a great conversationalist should normally mean speaking more right? Wrong! One has to maintain a 2:1 ratio of listening versus speaking, while we communicate.

Asking lots of follow up questions or examples, which makes the other person dig deeper, makes for a great conversation, and the person automatically feels that the listener is a great conversationalist and gets attracted on a subconscious level.

Essentially, one is deemed a great conversationalist and therefore charismatic, just by listening actively.