Charismatic Leadership – How to practice it? Traits, Pros & Cons – [Case Study]

The role of team members in managing an organization is undeniable. These members are divided into groups or teams for convenience, and some team leaders monitor whether they are correctly performing the work responsibilities assigned by their superiors. In addition, they motivate the team members in various ways and maintain peace and unity in the organization.

In this context, such leaders focus on organizational development through their sharp business and political acumen. Different leadership styles such as bureaucratic, democratic, autocratic, situational, behavioral, etc. are also present in such personalities.

Leaders play a significant role in organizational and employee development and simplify communication between management and team members. Charismatic leadership, however, is one of the most substantial and attention-grabbing leadership styles, which defines the traits of a great leader.

Charismatic Leadership – Meaning

Charismatic leadership defines a leader’s special skills, which make him different from others. As a result, such leaders have the leverage to create a transparent adhesion with loyalty between the directors and employees. Moreover, it also defines the character of a leader who can efficiently influence team members through his integrity, communication, and persuasion.

They maintain the reputation of the organization through their integrity and outstanding values. Besides, such leaders constantly improve the organization’s dignity through their sharp acumen and prompt action.

Historical Background:

The research done in 1922 by German sociologist Max Weber laid the groundwork for what is now known as the charismatic leadership hypothesis. Robert House was the pioneering researcher who initially put out the idea of charismatic leadership.

According to his findings, charismatic executives tend to hold very ideological ideas and visions for their organizations. These are the kinds of leaders who constantly motivate and convince the people they supervise to share a common vision.

It is believed that the movement began in Anglicanism in 1960, and it quickly expanded to other mainstream protestant churches, including Lutherans and Presbyterians, by 1962. By the year 1967, it had reached Roman Catholicism. Then, in the 1970s, members of the Methodist faith started getting active in the charismatic movement. Here, Max Weber propounded that a leadership style based on charisma means an exceptional approach to motivating others.


Charismatic leaders have specific characteristics that set them apart from other leaders and make them both attractive and motivating to followers.

  1. Charismatic leaders usually have admirable communication skills, as a result of which they exchange ideas with each group member and help motivate them by solving various problems during difficult times.
  2. These leaders maintain unity among employees by creating a comfortable communication medium.
  3. They develop the organization by employing integrity and a mature business approach rather than relying on showmanship alone.
  4. These leaders value every employee, opinion, and emotion and are prioritized equally.

Advantages of Charismatic Leadership

Charismatic leadership personalities inspire and motivate every team member through specific effective methods. The advantages of those methods are –

  • These leaders share the strengths and weaknesses of each team member with their improved communication skills and motivate team members through individual problem-solving.
  • A charismatic leader can observe that each team member is focused on the company or organization’s goals and their own.
  • Members can produce better results by receiving motivational encouragement from such leaders.
  • These leaders allow employees to learn the right course of action without turning their mistakes into failures at work.

Disadvantages of Charismatic Leadership

Charismatic leaders are those who constantly inspire through actions and various motivational information. However, everything has positive effects as well as adverse effects. Similarly, the disadvantages of charismatic leadership in this regard are –

  • The leader inspires other members with superior communication skills and business experience, but their ability to influence others makes them arrogant.
  • Charismatic leadership personalities have many followers. But the followers may not develop themselves and may not be aware of their power.
  • When leaders beat all the market competition, they might become overconfident, and hence they might neglect the particular strategy they are responsible for providing at work.

How to practice it?

There are many types of leadership, but charismatic leaders are the only ones whose influence comes from within themselves rather than from outside sources like position or rank in the organization. In most cases, people follow charismatic leaders because of their infectious positivity, boundless energy, and ability to inspire, confidence.

Charismatic leaders must also utilize empathy and compassion if they want their staff to feel safe enough to talk freely. They’re sympathetic to workers and interested in learning about what motivates them. Leaders with charisma are also highly emotionally intelligent. A charismatic leader analyses the current state of an organization and determines what has to be done to make room for a new vision. The leader then establishes the new objectives and explains them to the team before showing them how to be accomplished them.

Charismatic managers can get the best out of their employees through solid communication skills, persuasion, and perhaps even a dash of charm. Despite their apparent independence, charismatic people often defer to their colleagues when making crucial decisions. You can use phrases to keep their attention: results, actions, proven, look, brilliant, easy, straightforward, and focused.

The charismatic leadership style is one of many that aim to motivate and inspire followers to give their all on the job. Staff members benefit from improved opportunities for team building, communication, productivity, and performance as a result of this.

A leader’s vision can only be put into action if he can clearly articulate the organization’s long-term aims, short-term objectives, intermediate objectives, and immediate next steps to the team in a way that motivates and unites everyone working toward those objectives.

Charismatic leadership – Case Study [Example]

A perfect case study of a Charismatic leadership strategy is the Jordanian airport Amman International case. It had a conventional airport design. However, since the family firm’s traditional management generated a financial crisis, the family sold part of the business to a private French company. The French partner changed airport management and separated international and domestic flights.

Profitability was the ultimate goal. A French CEO was hired to analyze the company for a year. After a year, workers accustomed to traditional Jordanian organizational culture resisted the reform. Amman International Airport’s CEO is charismatic. He had invented change. The chosen change process included expanding the organizational structure, transitioning paper-based work schedules to digital ones, shifting employees’ focus from various workplace responsibilities to quality control, and keeping tabs on the commitment of outsourcing businesses on an annual basis.

The employees not used to the previous management style were given new restrictions like fingerprint devices to track their time at work and increased surveillance cameras to keep tabs on all the goings-on in the office. As a result, he couldn’t find buyers for his outdated artwork.

Airport workers could not disrupt the outsourcing firm’s productivity because the firm’s workers would not allow disagreements, difficulties, upheaval, and negative expression, which was called “resistance to change.” Senior management organized workshops and absorbed employee rage by promising a brighter future through transformation and improvement.

Traditional labor produces boredom, problems, poorer profitability, and fewer passengers, leading to inadequate compensation and job loss. The reform process boosted employees’ and the company’s physical and social standing.

The CEO helped people with their work and inspired passion, awareness, and work ethic. The situation was analyzed from different viewpoints. These perspectives highlight how charismatic leadership can assist a corporation in overcoming “employee resistance to the chosen organizational change approach.”


With extraordinary communication skills, charismatic leaders always motivate their subordinates. Such motivation brings a positive attitude among employees, which leads to a positive atmosphere and growth within the workforce.

But, sometimes, only motivation is not always effective in a workforce. Therefore, a leader must implement a specific strategy to achieve the ultimate business goal.

References –

Awamleh, F.T., 2022. Charismatic leadership to overcome employee resistance to the organizational change process.

House, R.J. and Howell, J.M., 1992. Personality and charismatic leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 3(2), pp.81-108.

Shamir, B., House, R.J. and Arthur, M.B., 1993. The motivational effects of charismatic leadership: A self-concept based theory. Organization Science, 4(4), pp.577-594.

Klein, K.J. and House, R.J., 1995. On fire: Charismatic leadership and levels of analysis. The Leadership Quarterly, 6(2), pp.183-198.

Leave a Comment