Monday, January 10, 2011

Charisma & Other Modes of Leadership

Most, if not all, leadership models have a built-in objective of getting the leader to persuade a group of people to accomplish a goal the group either does not want, lacks the will to accomplish or requires more effort than the group is willing to expend. Every now and then, a charismatic leader comes along who inspires individuals to believe in something bigger than themselves. This individual woos the audience with emotional pleas of achieving far reaching goals requiring a collective effort. Although charismatic leaders seem better able to impact crowds more effectively than other leadership models, the object of persuasion is similar to other leadership models.

However, what would happen if leaders merely led by example without any notion as to who was following? What if aspiring leaders took compelling ideas and made them the hallmark of a modern day crusade? Once more, if leaders looked behind less would they become more foresighted? The response to these questions are speculative, but it is reasonable to believe that if one concentrates all his energy on the plan and road ahead, he relies less on the vagaries and capriciousness of people. Contemporary leaders often spend an inordinate amount of time attempting to determine how well they are doing with constituents. Yes, there should be a degree of concern for the people one leads, but not to the extent where such concern dilutes the leader’s focus.

If nothing else, the long road of preparation for leadership engenders a high degree of confidence within the leader himself as well as the guidance sought by followers. For the leader to second guess himself or look to followers for answers would be counterproductive and antithetical to the credibility and validity of the prepared leader.

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