Max Weber defined charisma as “[a] certain quality of an individual personality, by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities.”
It is unimportant whether charismatic leaders possess the qualities that their followers attribute to them.
The definition of charismatic leadership is unconcerned with the political goals of a leader.
It is unimportant whether the majority considers a leader charismatic. It only matters what their followers think.
In most cases, charisma is a useful quality for CEOs. Many work hard to develop charismatic skills. Especially when an organization is asked to become more innovative and to perform beyond normal levels, having followers with an unusually strong belief in the leader and their vision increases the odds of success.
5 phases that take place as a leader’s charisma shifts from a positive to a negative quality:
The first phase is characterized by the subtle sense on the part of followers that the leader does not want to be questioned.
The second stage: sensing the leader's diminished appetite for being questioned or challenged, followers begin to self-censor, asking fewer questions and no longer playing devil's advocate.
The third stage: a negative cycle in which compliments and agreement cause leaders to become overconfident. Leaders in this stage create their own sense of reality and become resistant to evidence that they may be incorrect.
The fourth stage: Since the leader's views and actions are the only ones that matter, followers reduce their willingness to be proactive. They wait for directions and become passive. Decision making slows down.
The fifth stage is characterized by people continuing to follow and ostensibly do only what is necessary but with a deep diminishment in enthusiasm and spirit.
Executive Summary The research is clear: when we choose humble, unassuming people as our leaders, the world around us becomes a better place. Yet instead of following the lead of these unsung heroes, we appear hardwired to search for superheroes, over-glorifying leaders who exude charisma.
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.
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.