Leadership is a critical component of effective management. It is found wherever there is a stable association of people. Despite the seeming simplicity of this concept, in modern science, leadership has different manifestations in the presence of common initial positions of various authors. Researchers have found that some leadership methods are more effective at driving change. Among these, charismatic and transformational leadership can have the most substantial impact on organizations.
Charismatic leadership is a form of influencing others through personal attractiveness that evokes support and recognition of leadership. These qualities provide the owner with charisma and power over followers. As a source of leadership power, charisma is associated with a leader’s ability to influence subordinates through personal qualities and leadership styles (Lussier and Achua). The concept of “idealized influence” in transformational leadership is very close to the idea of charismatic leadership.
However, there are essential differences between transformational and charismatic leaders. Charisma is a necessary but insufficient component of transformational leadership (Lussier and Achua). Some people are charismatic but have no transformational impact on most of their followers. Followers may dress like a star or imitate her behavior but are unlikely to sacrifice their interests and follow her in any endeavor. Transformational leaders influence followers by evoking strong emotions, but they do so with humane motives (Lussier and Achua). They strive to delegate authority to followers, develop their non-dependence, strengthen their belief in themselves, and improve an individual, an organization, or an entire society.
In general, both types of leadership have apparent advantages and disadvantages. Charisma is a prominent distinguishing feature of some leaders, which manifests itself, among other things, in the leader’s high emotional intelligence. In controversial situations, charisma becomes a convincing argument helping the leader influence people, even if their position does not coincide with his point of view. An essential question for discussion could be: “Is it possible to cultivate charisma, or is it an innate quality?”
Lussier, Robert, and Christopher Achua. Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development. 6th ed., Cengage Learning, 2015.