Leading modules


Module 2 “Am I a leader?” – Leadership skills

Unit 2: Leadership styles
Charismatic Leadership

Have you ever met a person who from the first moment you’ve seen him/her has positively influenced you and you thought you could follow him/her to the moon and back? Well…this person most probably had a strong charisma and could easily become a charismatic leader. But what exactly does this word and consequently this leadership style cover?

Looking to the meaning of the word charisma – a special personal quality or power of an individual making him or her capable of influencing or inspiring large numbers of people, we can draw a conclusion that charismatic leadership has lots to do with the personality of the leader. Moreover, this leadership style is based on the way leaders are seen through the eyes of the followers. Unlike autocratic or bureaucratic leadership, we have talked about in the previous sub-units, charismatic leadership only by its name suggests positivity, inspires support and acceptance.

charismatic leadership

Further on, we will be looking into the characteristics these leaders have and we would like to invite you to have a self-reflection session in order to identify which of these characteristics do you possess.

Watch the video about our role model, Maria Monastirioti, the leader of the social enterprise Mama’s Flavours, here: https://youtu.be/IyL6ztNyFJQ. Note her passion about solving some difficult issues related to the employability of women in certain regions of Greece, but also her commitment in relation to help others by leading a team of 6 to promote Greek gastronomy alongside with the country’s cultural heritage. Answer the question: is it important to be as passionate as Maria about your goal? Is it worth following your dream? Can it be done if you are not sufficiently committed to your goal?

Charismatic leaders are:

  • visionaries: they usually have big dreams, and they are ready to work towards making it happen;
  • excellent communicators: they must have good communication skills, as they need to convince their followers about their belief in order to achieve progress towards the foreseen goal;
  • sensitive to others’ emotions and ambitions: they might have forceful opinion, but they recognize that the leader needs to alter their approach to each person, instead of forcing followers to adjust themselves;
  • willing to take a risk: they have the ability to decide when is time to remain conservative and when should the risk be taken in order to achieve great results;
  • confident: they believe in their vision and are ready and capable of influencing their surrounding environment.

charismatic leadership

As with having a charismatic personality, there are both advantages and disadvantages to the charismatic leadership style as well. The main advantage of this leadership style is, that it inspires people to work together and also to be devoted to the set mission. Enterprises and/or teams which are led by charismatic leaders work together and they stand for their beliefs. These leaders are willing to let others know their views they are convinced about and they also have the gift of explaining that to their followers in a way that makes them feel inspired by the leaders’ commitment.

As these leaders put their heart and soul into their belief which they put across to their followers, the main disadvantage of this leadership style might be considered a possible early burnout for both the leader as well as for the followers. This might also be the result of the fact that these teams are really committed to the cause they are working towards. On the other hand, it can also be considered a disadvantage the fact, that teams led by charismatic leaders, may fall apart in case they lose their leader for some reason. Moreover, these leaders might be so concentrated on the set goals, they might not learn from own mistakes and therefore are likely to commit them again.