Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Impact of Charismatic Leaders Founding Organizations

Though the impact of the charismatic leadership model is often discussed within established organizations, there are other challenges with charismatic leadership when the leader is the founder or owner of an organization. Hernandez and Leslie (2001) identified some challenges of charismatic leaders who founded organizations and the leaders’ inability to move forward or select a successor. The potential void left by the charismatic leader’s departure creates a degree of insecurity throughout the organization. Anxiety is developed among frontline personnel as well as organizational stakeholders become overly dependent or ambivalent over the potential void left by the charismatic leader who produces split loyalties. At the end of a charismatic leader’s reign, such uncertainty and fractured loyalties could divide the organization. Hernandez and Leslie went on to say that an organization’s continuity is better served when the charismatic leader exerts influence in creating a vision for the future of the organization as opposed to allowing frenzy within the infrastructure. Also the natural fear of the unknown within individuals could be ameliorated through clear and consistent communication. Additionally, the board of directors could be proactive in identifying potential concerns in operations before these concerns trickle down to the lower echelon of the organization.


Hernandez, C.M., and Leslie, D.R. (2001 Summer). Charismatic leader the aftermath. Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 11(4), 493.

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