Five Facts About Charisma

Not all entrepreneurs are born with the power to inspire. Charisma is the outcome of careful craftsmanship. Charismatic leaders cultivate narratives in which their sense of self comes to be seen by followers as emblematic of their shared group identity.

We can all cultivate our own charisma, here’s how (from Scientific American Mind July/August 2012):

1. Charisma centers on the capacity for a leader to seen by followers as advancing the groups interests. Its spell can be broken if leaders are discovered to be acting for themselves or for an opposing group.

2. We are not born with a natural talent for winning hearts and minds. Followers respond to a leaders thoughtfully tuned public identity by endowing that person with charisma.

3. A charismatic leader is an entrepreneur of identity. This person clarifies what we believe rather than telling people what they believe.

4. Use words like “us” and “we” that emphasize a shared identity to increase charisma.

5. Franklin Roosevelt managed to appear to be both “of us” and “for us,” a feat that lies at the heart of charisma in general.


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