Sunday, January 18, 2009

Insecurity Within The Charismatic Personality

The Core Edge Image & Charisma Institute defines charisma as "The creating of perceptions that impact the mind and emotions of others through flair, finesse and glib language." Since the philosophy of charisma has been largely underrepresented and underdeveloped for nearly a century, there have been attempts to qualify the charismatic personality. Deborrah Himsel, author of "Leadership Soprano Style: How to Become a More Effective Boss", describes four components of a charismatic leader utilizing the fictional character Tony Soprano of the HBO hit show " The Sopranos" as having:

• Strong beliefs and values relating to the work and "our thing"
• Self-confidence and competence, balanced with authenticity
• Strength and the perception of invincibility
• Comfort with power

As we begin to compose a profile for charismatic leadership, the challenge isn't what the individual appears to be on the outside, but what's going on inside. Although Himsel's description paves the way to greater understanding of charismatic traits, it falls short in how charismatics get that way. An argument can be made that some charismatics have confidence, while others may not. Quite often, confidence is seen as an essential trait for charisma, but there are examples that suggest that some charisma may emerge from insecurity. Eminent psychologist, Alfred Adler (1870-1937) in his book, The Meaning of Life, said "To be a man means to suffer from an inferiority feeling which constantly drives him to overcome it." President John F. Kennedy did not necessarily exhibit raw charisma in his earlier years. In fact, he was seen as a wayward rich boy who lacked drive and focus. It appears that his father, Joseph Kennedy, began looking for greater contributions from him after the death of Joseph Kennedy, Jr. during World War II. If Joe Jr. had not died, we don't know where John Kennedy would have ended in the annals of history.

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1 comment:

Kathryn Now said...

I think this is a fascinating topic..insecurty drives some people well and others it drives into becoming very unpleasant