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When Charismatic Leadership Goes Too Far

From positive to negative

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. 

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When Charismatic Leadership Goes Too Far

When Charismatic Leadership Goes Too Far

https://hbr.org/2016/11/when-charismatic-leadership-goes-too-far

hbr.org

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Key Ideas

Qualities of Charismatic Leader

  • They are skilled at articulating a compelling vision that inspires followers.
  • They read the environment and sense the needs of followers to tailor a message that will have the most impact.
  • They are good storytellers who use symbolism and metaphor to make stories come alive.
  • They display deep belief in the promise and possibilities of the organization
  • They show sense of optimism for the probability of success.
  • They have the will  to take personal risks and make sacrifices to turn the vision into reality

From positive to negative

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. 

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