As I stopped to listen to the inauguration speech of newly appointed president, Barack Obama, the thing that stood out most about him was not the content of his speech but rather how he was able to draw the attention of millions by just the words he spoke. His words not only captivated millions but it also instilled hope and inspiration to those who listened. Obama shares a rare trait that great leaders have. That trait is charisma.
While many may be described as charismatic, true and genuine charisma is often hard to find. Charisma is often defined as a rare trait in human personality that includes charm and a ‘magnetic’ quality. Not only is charisma a rare trait, it is also by far one of the most valued. Taking a look at the famous leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Caesar, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, and Nelson Mandela, the key characteristic that all of them shared was their ability to captivate an audience. From Napoleon’s ability to rally his troops through is powerful words to Martin Luther King Jr.’s ability to charm thousands and lead millions, charisma is a powerful tool. Anyone can become a leader, but it takes true charisma to get people to follow you. You maybe extremely bright, but without charisma, you can only go so far.
In the business world, charisma plays a huge role in the workplace. While work ethic and efficiency are both key factors in promotions, a persons charisma is also key. Someone who is charismatic not only gets along with most people, but they can also make up for areas they lack in with their charm. The goal of any company is to hire a well rounded individuals that can come in and bring value to the company. The key word out of that sentence is value. Speaking to the HR of a few companies, many agree that charisma has huge value.
Aside from the charisma playing a huge part in the business world, charisma is also a dominant trait in entertainment and sports. When you look at players like Kobe Bryant and actors like Will Smith, aside from work on the court and on film, people naturally gravitate toward them. This ‘magnetic’ trait that they have has helped them become as popular as they are today. Even looking at our past president, George Bush, we can see the power of charisma. While he wasn’t loved by all, people would agree that part of the reason he got to White House was because of his personal charisma.
While not all of us can be as smooth as Will Smith or are able to captivate a nation like President Barack Obama, it is important to recognize those that are charismatic. Being able to identify individuals with genuine charisma can be difficult because who is to say what “true” and “genuine” charisma is, but here is a suggestion to figuring it out: Look around you and see who are the followers, and who are the leaders. More than often, the leaders have true charisma.