Charismatic Leadership

Charisma is 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. Weber defines charismatic leadership as “resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him”. The charm of such people made their followers go behind these leaders without questioning them. While analyzing such a strong bond between the leaders and his followers Weber focuses on the social patterns and conditions under which the leader exists. One of the qualities of the charismatic leaders is that they watch themselves. They are constantly aware of the fact that their followers are watching them and so they find it important that they portray a good picture of themselves for their followers. As the charismatic leaders are born out of the blend of social scenario and follower’s needs, it becomes imperative for such leaders to constantly identify themselves with that social scenario and the need. Self-motivation is an important part of charismatic leadership. The leader gets motivated by the social scenario without being prompted about it. Charismatic leaders often do not seek conventional power. They may not ask for an official post or position but what they look for is a social power. They want their follower to respect them and see them as their saviors. They want to win the position in their follower’s hearts. They look for identifying themselves with their follower’s values and shared beliefs. Such leaders are rated high on their social skills to persuade the masses and appeal them to their hearts. It is this power which keeps them popular for longer time. Charismatic leaders are open to change. In fact, they represent the change and many times they prove to be the ones who bring about the changes. It is interesting to note that charismatic leaders are most powerful in the situation which demands the changes. Charismatic leadership also has severe negative effects in some cases. The shared vision and ideas between the leader and followers create enormous energy in the organization. The leader can employ this energy in destructive way. The more the leader’s self-confident is the more are the chances that the leader will misuse the power. It’s been observed in many cases that charismatic leaders have abused their powers Without any check on the power, it doesn’t take time for the leader to go corrupt. Any healthy organization shows competition for power which also represents tussle between values and with lack of this tussle there remains no control on the leader. Followers of the charismatic leaders are so blinded by his charisma that they might even do some acts that they wouldn’t have done ordinarily.