Monday, January 9, 2012

How to Start Your Own Business Using the Strategies of Charismatic Leaders

Some experts suggest that the best time to start a business is during recessionary times as a means of personal fulfillment and a way to jump start the economy.  Several successful companies got their starts during economic upheaval.   Strauss (2003) noted that:
  • 16 of the 30 corporations that make up the Dow Jones industrial average got their starts during recessions.
  • Disney began during the recession of 1923-24.
  • Hewlett-Packard was begun during the Great Depression (in 1938).
  • Microsoft began during the 1975 recession.
However, starting a business during a recession as well as times of prosperity is a challenging task requiring prudence and effective planning. Since most aspiring business owners will most likely begin their business with limited capital and paltry business contacts, personality, passion, and persistence will be your greatest resources. Charismatic leaders operate most effectively when they lack the necessary capital and connections that would prevent traditional leaders from attempting the task.  By following the strategies of charismatic leaders for starting your own business, you can thrive during recessionary times. Here are a few strategies of charismatic leaders.

---Charismatic leaders are known for being visionaries.  Actually, charismatic leaders are excellent at dissecting and deciphering inefficiencies within the marketplace. The visionary traits attributed to charismatic leaders are often a result of compiling facts, critical thinking, and finding solutions to various problems.  The late Steve Jobs of Apple is an excellent example of charismatic leader’s ability to discover inefficiencies within the marketplace.  By looking at the marketplace and the emerging needs of consumers, Apple’s invention of I-Tunes transformed the music industry into marketing and selling music differently online.  If you see business opportunities that are either being underutilized or could be done more efficiently, this is the area you should take advantage.  Charismatic leaders create missions and crusades around problems they observe in society.  Starting your business should be pursued as if it’s your life’s mission to solve a compelling problem with your products or services.

---Charismatic leaders temper passion with relevancy. It is fallacious to believe that “If you build it, they will come.” Many businesses have failed because the owner believed that because he or she liked the product or service everyone else would like it also.  In the last few years, Starbucks has begun shuttering underperforming stores to increase its revenue and curtail “over growth.” Starbucks attempted to rival the growth of McDonald’s and found that its passion for coffee needed to be tempered with its corporate mission.  Starbucks was designed to be a “third place” away from home and office.  By attempting to retail coffee as McDonald’s retails food, it became slightly irrelevant.  As you start your business, be passionate about your product or service, but also be passionate about serving the needs of the population you want to attract.

---Charismatic leaders use current technology to lessen labor intensity.  Charismatic leaders are highly versed in managing people for increased productivity. However, charismatic leaders develop advanced people skills as a means of accomplishing a mission through human labor.  At the end of the day, accomplishing the mission is what charismatic leaders define themselves by. Consequently, the emergence of software technology has allowed business owners the ability to accomplish tasks with less human capital. The self-service checkout lanes in Kroger and Publix supermarkets are excellent for customers who wish to pick up a few items (usually 20 items or less) and hurriedly leave the store. These stores could hire more personnel, but the automated check-out system encourages customers with limited shopping needs to feel as if picking up a few items does not expend a great deal of time. Shorter shopping times encourage return customers.   As you start your business, become acutely aware that your ultimate goals are creating a quality product or service and making a profit.  If the latest software allows you to increase your profitability with less human capital, invest in the latest software.  
Personality, passion, and persistence are the core traits of charismatic leaders. By emulating the traits of charismatic leaders as you start your business, you are not only on the road toward financial success, but personal fulfillment.


Strauss, S. (2003 March 3). Time to start your business may be now. USA Today (online). Retrieved from:

For more info: visit,  Charisma

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