Monday, November 28, 2011

How Charismatic Leaders Become Influential within Companies

The charismatic leadership model is fundamentally the only leadership model where the leader’s sheer personality, tenacity, and vision garner respect, adulation, and power. There are a few ways that charismatic leaders become influential within companies.
1. Charismatic leaders have a larger vision past the current company. When the late engineer John DeLorean designed the Pontiac GTO, Firebird, and Grand Prix for General Motors, it was almost certain that he would one day have to form his own company. The ego and drive for self-determination by charismatic leaders assures that they will become contentious with the managers of the organization. Later DeLorean would form the DeLorean Motor Company, maker of the DeLorean DMC-12 sports car. By having a compelling vision and marketable skills, Charismatic leaders are able to wield power inside and outside of a company. The fact that charismatic leaders have talents that can be leveraged for optimal positioning allows them to gain influence within a company until he is either forced out or leaves the company on his own.
2. Charismatic leaders recruit and attract disciples within a company. Employees who admire a charismatic leader’s personality and ambition will emulate his style as well as jockey for roles on projects led by the leader. Through these disciples or supporters within the company, charismatic leaders create internal networks that facilitate the acquisition and distribution of information. Such information allows the charismatic leader to be knowledgeable about upcoming threats and opportunities. Because charismatic leaders are agile and mobile when exploiting opportunities, they can determine if an opportunity allows them to play a larger role within a company or leave to set up operations elsewhere. In this vein, supporters might be inclined to leave with the charismatic leader causing a potential drought of skilled workers within a company.
3. Charismatic leaders create innovative initiatives and are great self-promoters. The keys to exploiting a great idea include the creation and implementation of a marketing plan. Through formalized communication structures like internal memos and newsletters or informal communication structures like disciples and supporters, charismatic leaders are able to self-promote within a company. Often this marketing strategy complements the overall goals of the company, which allows the charismatic leader to maintain influence.
Charismatic leaders create personal systems within an overarching corporate structure to gain influence as well as execute plans. A charismatic leader’s ability to see the gaps within an organization, thus allowing innovation, creates the perception of indispensability. The converts of a charismatic leader feel a sense of attachment and significance and are willing to invest their resources to be a part of a vision larger than themselves. As long as the charismatic leader’s vision aligns with the corporate mission, there is synergy. However, when the two are not aligned, the charismatic leader is fired or leaves the company to facilitate his vision elsewhere. 

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Monday, November 21, 2011

How Charismatic Leaders Handle Difficult People

Although charismatic leaders are skillful at handling people in general, they are strategists at handling difficult or hard to get along with people who may be impediments to their goals. Charismatic leaders handle difficult people by:

1. Making an assessment about the social environment they enter. Before any actions are made, charismatic leaders determine the personalities and behaviors of the individuals within an environment. If for example, a manager micromanages a department, the charismatic leader is observational and cautious before interacting with the manager. In this instance, difficulty often stems from the manager’s need for control. The charismatic leader does not give up personal power, but is willing to share power by establishing non-verbal communication boundaries with the manager. The charismatic leader “picks his battles” by determining which issues to address and which issues to ignore.

2.Choosing to be respected rather than to be loved. Charismatic leaders adore being admired, but never at the behest of being disrespected. Difficult people often prey on the weak and will continue exercising disempowering behavior as long as the conditions allow. Charismatic leaders do not thrive in weak relationships, particularly if they are the ones being preyed upon. In this vein, charismatic leaders command respect by never horsing around, pandering, or acting from a position of weakness. Charismatic leaders choose to be professional rather than being nice when dealing with difficult people.

3.Communicating candidly. Difficult people can be crass and stern. Charismatic leaders have the knowledge and comportment to express discontent behind closed doors. Charismatic leaders speak with precision pointing specifically to lapses in communication and asking for, and recommending future ways effective communications can be established. By setting and controlling the stage, charismatic leaders maintain power in determining the protocol for future interactions.

Essentially, charismatic leaders institute a strong presence within an environment, which disallows debilitating or denigrating behavior. To gain leverage over difficult people, charismatic leaders understand that image management and self-control are the keys to maintaining poise and power. The ability to handle and manage difficult people lies in the charismatic leader’s ability to lead with strength, reason, and open lines of communication.

Monday, November 14, 2011

How Charisma Could Help Occupy Atlanta and Other Protestors Accomplish Their Goals

To bring about fundamental changes within an industry requires a few rules of engagement:

1. Choose a leader who has compelling speaking skills and can articulate a vision that even opponents can respect. Protestors must be media conscious in selecting a leader who speaks with passion and uses imagery and logic to make a case for the mission. Opponents of protestors will listen and modify behavior if they feel a charismatic leader is a threat to their interests.

2. Create an “Angel vs. Villain” storyline. If financial institutions are the villains, protestors should protest the actual locations of financial institutions or affiliates. For protestors to attack public parks causing destruction where tax payers are on the hook produces enemies. Protestors should use the playbook of historical movements. By updating and replicating the success of past demonstrations shows knowledge of history that is progressive and applicable to current organizational needs.

3. Monetize the organization as well as the event. The perpetuity of a crusade necessitates a nexus between grass roots support and long term financial sustainability. Any organization that does not have a financial and marketing component to its operations is doomed for failure.

4. Begin as a fringe organization, but ultimately become mainstream. Americans typically are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Consequently, a movement that does not take on some of the characteristics of established institutions will be dismissed as a passing fancy. Protestors, no matter how committed, will not gain credibility if they do not professionalize the organization and the movement.

Charismatic leaders are effective at embodying the message and mission of a crusade as well as creating a detailed strategy. Converse to the idea of charismatic leaders being visionaries, they are excellent strategists in meeting the internal needs of protestors and the general public. Occupy protestors will fail if a leader does not emerge with the star appeal of a Barack Obama and the marketing wisdom of a Steve Jobs.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Did Kim Kardashian Leave Kris Humphries Because He Lacked Charisma?

In this session, charisma expert and commentator Edward Brown weighs in on the impact of charisma on the celebrity marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.

Q: What impact did charisma or the lack of charisma have on the marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries?

A: Essentially, charisma is a way of gaining power and influence within interpersonal relationships. If you notice, Kim controlled the imagery, dialogue, and direction of the wedding from day one. Kris was a pawn in the power game from the beginning. Had he been more influential and persuasive through charisma, they would be together now.

Q: So, how could Kris have been more powerful?

A: First, he should have been aware of the motivation that drives Kim. She essentially is like actor George Hamilton, famous for being famous. If fame is her driving force, the two could have built a dual entertainment brand like BeyoncĂ© and Jay-Z. Instead, he misread his role in Kim’s marketing machine and thought love would be a saving grace. He married for love, she married for headlines. Second, Kris let Kim dominate the dialogue. The person with the bigger microphone and stronger personality controls the direction and momentum of the relationship. He should have dominated interviews, acted like he had second thoughts to gain leverage, and become emotionally detached about the event.

Q: Interesting. Many would say that love and marriage should have less gamesmanship involved?

A: We have to review and rethink what marriage means in contemporary society. Actor Will Smith said that he and wife Jada got married to create a family-run entertainment empire. Will said they needed something bigger than love and physical attraction to build a marriage on. Their children, Jaden and Willow, are entertainers because of the Will and Jada entertainment machine. People are redefining what marriage means today. As a NBA basketball player, Kris is not a Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or Blake Griffin. The biggest value to Kim’s marketing machine is Kris’ affiliation with the NBA. Had Kris understood the larger picture, he could have been to Kim what NBA basketball star Tony Parker was to actress Eva Langoria; the merging of two entertainment brands.

Q: Okay. So Kris blew the opportunity because he didn’t understand the game. What should he do now?

A: The best marketing for a non-charismatic man is the connection to a beautiful woman. Kris will be forever linked with Kim, which will allow him access to the world of eligible starlets. Moving forward, he should never again operate from a position of weakness. He should learn to be more witty, self-promoting, and realistic about how the world operates. Real love still exists, but in a media generated society, love is used as a mere storyline to a continuous movie. Kris got married to Kim for love. In the future, love should be in conjunction with a more compelling reason to be married. Today, you are as a powerful as the impact you make on the world stage and as enduring as your ability to leverage opportunities.






What do you think?