Friday, April 30, 2010

Can Charisma Be Lost?

In an interview some years ago on charisma, Dr. Tony Alessandra, author of the book,”Charisma” said charisma could not be lost once a person possessed it. It is not a “Use it or lose it” proposition. Advancing this notion, it is quite possible that charisma could become latent over time, but not lost, if the charismatic has a paradigm shift in beliefs and motivation. If charisma is merely a means of achieving a goal through imagery, passion and sheer determination, could any of these factors lessen a viable charismatic personality? While being adept at understanding human nature, could a charismatic become less charismatic as he unveiled the vagaries that go on inside the minds of individuals? A rationalist’s conclusion might posit that the appearance of charisma might look diminished, but the charisma is still intact. The charismatic personality can be less charismatic in certain situations. Or better yet, not as charismatic in all situations. In this instance, the charismatic is using charisma as a tool based on the needs of the situation. In one forum, he may sit quietly in a corner, totally detached and unnoticed by anyone in the room. In another venue, he may come alive and exhibit more extroverted behavior. In each scenario, the motivation of the charismatic determines the level of charisma he wants to demonstrate. Because the charismatic is internally motivated by self-interest, situations that are valueless warrant little attention or energy. This is the essential difference between the inner workings of charismatics versus the manifestation of charisma by individuals who are “Charismatic-like.” The pure charismatic acts according to his overall mission compared to the charisma-like individual who acts according to short term gains. On the surface, the two manifestations might appear similar. It is through uncovering the inherent mission, biological proclivities and environmental influences that the essential difference can be best identified.

The hard-wiring of a charismatic is so visceral that it is highly unlikely that his internal passion and zeal is not consistently in play unless he opts for another mission or lose interest in the current one he is leading.

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