Leadership Quality #2: Charisma – The Ability to Draw People to you

Today we look at Charisma, something often thought of as mystical and almost undefinable, possibly even a quality that we are either born with or not at all. I personally have caught myself responding when people suggest I’m charismatic, “oh my late brother was very charismatic, I didn’t get that gene.” Consider that charisma is the ability to draw people to you. And so you are able to develop that.

In Dale Carnegie’s 1938 iconic work of How to Win Friends & Influence People he often mentions Charles Schwab, an industrialist who was the first to admit he didn’t know that much about running a steel factory, however, he commanded unprecedented salary levels because of his ability with people. (Read this quote bearing in mind it’s 1938 lingo)…

“I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism”

To make yourself the kind of person who attracts others, you need to personify these pointers:

  1. Love Life – be a celebrator not a complainer.
  2. See the best in others – reveal to others their riches, versus just revealing your own.
  3. Give people Hope – Napoleon Bonaparte characterised leaders as ‘dealers in hope’.
  4. Share yourself – people love leaders who share themselves and their life journeys. Share wisdom, resources, and even special occasions.

Leaders who think about others and their concerns before thinking of themselves exhibit charisma.

Roadblocks to Charisma:

Take a moment and rate yourself when it comes to charisma, and see if other people are naturally drawn to you. Are you well liked? If not, perhaps you may possess one of these roadblocks to charisma.

  • Pride – no one wants to follow a leader who thinks they are better than anyone else.
  • Insecurity – if you aren’t comfortable with who you are, no one else will be.
  • Moodiness – if people never know what to expect from you, they stop expecting anything.
  • Cynicism – no one wants to be rained on by someone who sees a cloud around every silver lining.

Actions to take to improve your charisma

  1. Change your focus – observe yourself in interactions with others and be determined to tip the balance in favour of focussing on others.
  2. First impressions – next time you meet someone for the first time, make a good impression. Learn the person’s name, focus on their interests, be positive, treat them as a “10” i.e. see the best in them. Do this every day and soon you will increase your charisma.
  3. Share yourself – think about how you can add value to five people in your life this year; be they personal or work. Provide resources to help them grow personally and professionally, and share your personal journey with them.

My invitation to you is to focus on your charisma and observe the difference it makes. If you are stuck or unsure, please get in touch. You are welcome to start a conversation on my Facebook page

Part 2 of our Leadership Series: Leadership is an Inside Job, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader


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