Thursday, August 26, 2010

Charisma is Founded On "Understanding Human Nature"

This review is from: Understanding Human Nature

Eminent psychologist Alfred Adler's (1870-1937), "Understanding Human Nature" is a ground- breaking book outlining the dynamics, psychology and neurosis of human nature. For me, Adler's salient point in his "Individual Psychology" is that we are all slaves to our motivations. Whatever, driving need within all of us, move us to act in fulfilling that need. Adler says,"...A change of attitude in adult life need not necessarily lead to a change of behavior pattern. The psyche does not change its foundation; the individual retains the same tendencies in childhood and in maturity, leading us to deduce that her goal in life is unaltered." (P.4) He further asserts, "A person's mental life is determined by his goals. No human being can think, feel, wish, or dream without all these activities being determined, continued, modified and directed toward an ever-present objective." (P. 15).

Adler's conceptual framework served me well in constructing my model on charisma. Whether you witness the magnetism of President Barack Obama, the magnanimity of Oprah Winfrey or the altruism of Bono, they are all moved by their compelling drives and motivation, which are all self-serving.

Adler cut through the chase in defining the human psyche that was de-mystifying in ways that eclipsed Sigmund Freud. Although contemporaries, Adler's contribution to psychology seems much more visceral and pragmatic than that of Freud.

I highly recommend "Understanding Human Nature" as a timeless tome more
relevant today than a century ago.


Adler, A. (1998), Understanding human nature. Minnesota: Hazelden Foundation

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