Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Charismatic Leadership Versus Traditional Leader Model

Research suggests that during tumultuous times a charismatic leader is better for a crisis over a more traditional form of leadership. After the crisis has been abated, a more traditional style of leadership is advised. According to a USA Today article, "Charmed, I'm sure" by Steve Bodow (12/9/02), charismatic leaders enhance profitability during economic downturns. Jay Conger, a London Business School professor and USC researcher says that the traits that allow charismatic leaders to help enhance profitability are: · A restless compulsion to challenge the status quo. The charismatic leader is most at home, and most effective, in chaos. · A clear vision within uncharted territory to explore · An ability to articulate a vision compellingly to any audience and to imbue it with a sense of great importance. · An ability to create a sense that no other person could--or would--take the same tactic. · An ability to inspire and permit those around him to do extraordinary things. The distinction between Charismatic Leadership and Traditional Leadership should be noted, because pundits are inclined to use a "One size fits all" approach to complex problems requiring more specificity. Many opponents of the Charismatic Leadership model lambast its effectiveness based on how some leaders affected the model. Charismatic dictators like: Hitler, Mussolini and Idi Amin are often referred to as icons of the Charismatic Leadership Model. Even when positive charismatic leadership has been demonstrated by the likes of: John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton or Winston Churchill, pundits often point to the personal failings of such leaders. This "Hate-fest" for the charismatic model, in part, stems from the divisive nature of the charismatic model. Leaders are either extremely loved or extremely hated. That's testimony to the visceral passion this brand of leadership stirs up. Love it or hate it, the charismatic leadership model will become a more viable interpersonal factor on the world stage as human relations and economies become more competitive and challenging. The presidential election signaled the potency of the Charismatic Leadership Model as well as its viability in a tumultuous world.

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