Why Being a Charismatic Leader Isn’t All that Good

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We’re always reading things about the difference between being a boss and a leader; how the first pushes their team to simply do their work while the other is more focused on making the team the best they can possibly be. Most of this material presents the leader figure as the good guy, charming, empathic, a visionary, and often quite charismatic.

The Problem with Charisma

However, being a charismatic leader is not always as good as it seems. People with natural charisma are usually pretty likable and easy to get along with, so most workers would have no problem seeing them as leaders. But, the problem of the matter is that more often than not charismatic people are aware of the effect they have on people and that can make them come across as arrogant and narcissistic.

Charismatic leaders are often used to getting their way thanks to their charm and that can lead to an over-inflated image of themselves.

The real problem is that many companies tend to fall for charming employees that are not necessarily fitted to be leaders. They just appear to be. These “leaders” are excellent at getting noticed and climbing the career ladder, usually ending up in positions of power for which they are not really prepared.

Now, we aren’t saying charisma automatically makes a person unsuited to be a leader. Without any charisma a leader would be terribly inefficient since it would be very hard for them to motivate their team. However, too much of it can end up making the leader seem unapproachable and unengaging.

There is a gray area, but it requires another characteristic: humility.

The True Key Characteristic of a Great Leader

A humble leader is able to create an engaging and stable environment for their teams. Humility can make a charming and charismatic leader seem relatable and approachable –someone that their team can really trust.

We often mistake humility with weakness or lack of character but that’s just a toxic social construct. It takes a lot of personality and discipline to be truly humble.

A truly humble leader knows where credit is due and how to recognize the individual achievements of every team member, instead of claiming every accomplishment as their own. They are also capable of receiving negative feedback without being offended by it; self-entitled people are often incapable of dealing with any kind of criticism.

A good, humble leader is always willing to grow and improve. They are receptive to new ideas and suggestions even if they don’t necessarily agree with them at first. Humility also means knowing your limitations. We’re all humans and there are some things that we are just incapable of doing and that’s why it’s okay to ask for help from others.

Moreover, a humble leader is someone who understands that respect is not something that is automatically granted by your position in the hierarchy. Thinking that you’re entitled to something just because of your position leads to arrogance. Respect is mutual and it’s earned through hard work.

Final Words

The idea of the perfect charismatic leader that doesn’t make mistakes is nothing but a myth. A truly great leader is someone who is humble enough to admit their flaws and seek help from their team. They are able to create a healthy work environment based on trust and respect that benefits all members of the team and the company

Edu Rojas
Creative Writer