Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Charisma: Playing the Role!

Pulitzer Prize winning author, Edward O. Wilson in his book, On Human Nature, discusses the idea of man's relationship with the roles in society and its impact on one's "self." Essentially, Wilson contends that the role we assume become a part of our self. The conditioning process has already taken place, so that the role of employee, father and husband becomes a part of our personality. The impact of this notion is that while personality is based on biological considerations, it also largely has environmental and cultural implications. You can't determine where one begins and the other ends because of the interconnectedness. All to often, we believe that who we are is permanently shaped and formed and thus the world needs to accept us for who we are. Wilson's synthesis gives life to the changeability of the personality.

Consequently, we are what we think we are according to the roles we play. These roles, consciously conceived, can be altered through the shifting of roles coupled with a modification of behavior within this role. The great news is that all that make us human can be altered when it ceases to add value or hinders our growth. Becoming what is necessary to become more charismatic ceases to be inauthentic or fake, but a strategy of transforming into your ideal self to accomplish your objective. This turns self-limiting ideas on its head, because we can now wage a campaign that says that all means of assuming personality traits to attain a goal is not only allowable, it is necessary in a social context for achieving one's aim. If most of what we have become socialized to believe rests on the idea of a genuine and authentic self, it is only true to the extent that we believe in such a thing as an unchanging self. Experience shows us that we are forever evolving, so the questions becomes are we intentionally evolving on our terms or merely evolving based on cultural necessity? If we are doing the latter, we are again allowing societal dictates not only script our subjective reality, but also shape the course of becoming charismatic leaders. If we are to shape our personalities and thus our destinies, we must have a concerted hand in its formation. If everything that gives form to our aspirations is in our grasp, we are the creators of our subjective reality. The roles that we play either adhere to our ideals or accommodate a social desire.

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