Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barack Obama: When is Charisma Necessary?

There are various factors that may occur that set forth the conditions best suited for charismatic leadership. First, people have to be fearful and hopeless about current conditions. Secondly, the solutions to the social ills have to correlate with the populous' experience and optimistic feelings about itself. The solution should tap more into the emotional rather than logical region of the psyche. It is at this point where details don't matter. The leader must tap into the emotional heartstrings of adherents and create the logic as they go along. Philosopher Thomas Carlyle noted that people seemed to be hard-wired for "Hero Worshipping." In this instance, Obama's ascension is a bit different than the normal development of cults. Normally, cults transform paradigms by: Isolating the individual, disorienting him through confusion or fear, retraining through reframing thoughts and experiences to correlate with a new paradigm and reenforcement by gathering old adherents with the new charge. The zeal within Obama adherents is more of what was already there as opposed to what was put there. The Obama craze is a reflection of economic upheaval, America's lackluster position in the world, two major concurrent wars and a pessimism about civilization as it currently exists. If anything, the Obama Camp has done as excellent job of identifying the visceral feelings of Americans and created a campaign to cure what hurts them emotionally and psychically.

For more information, visit: Charisma

Saturday, October 25, 2008

In Search of Charismatic Politicians

Charismatic politicians are far and few between, because many of them have had prior successes in other professions requiring little to no charisma. The feeling being, "Charisma didn't get me here, so I don't need it." Interesting enough, charisma would have gotten them farther. I recently went to a fundraiser for an incumbent who could have used a dosage of charisma. Attendees were there to open up their wallets and purses for his campaign. What better way to jump start a campaign than to arouse the imagination of followers to a cause bigger than themselves. He fell flat! When he finished his comments, I approached him suggesting that I could help him engage future audiences to increase their contributions. Like many politicians, he took offense to the suggestion. Many politicians see themselves as "already" being charismatic enough. The roar of the crowd blinds them to reality. Because someone is excited by seeing a local celebrity/politician doesn't mean they are moved by your mission. Fortunately, the emergence of the populous demanding that politicians be engaging will require future candidates to enhance their charisma quotient. The Obama campaign has raised the bar on what politicians will need to survive in the future.

For more information, visit: Charisma