All entries for Wednesday 20 March 2013

March 20, 2013

Do you need Charisma to be an effective leader?

I came across this interesting article which has sort of challenged my previous views on leadership. I used to think that effective leaders need to have charisma. It seemed almost logical considering people like Steve Jobs, for instance.

However, this article shows that this is a common misconception. Even people who are not gifted with charisma can be really effective as leaders. Furthermore, some charismatic leaders can actually hinder the progress of an organization. Take the example of Richard S. Fuld, the CEO of Lehman Brothers and the guy who many people blame for the financial crisis. He was undoubtedly charismatic, persuasive and strong minded (labelled as "the gorilla" of Wallstreet) but he played a major part in the downfall of his corporation. This has definitely changed my views and I now don't think that a charismatic leader will necessarily outperform his/her counterpart over the long run. While you will sometimes get that one-in-a-million steve jobs type leader, you will also come across leaders with charisma and outstanding powers of persuasion, but who will still lead company in the wrong direction as they will not listen to anyone with opposing views.


The article can be accessed from: http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/why-good-leaders-dont-need-charisma/


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