Types of Charismatic Leadership and Examples

What is Charismatic Leadership? Max Weber – A German Sociologist made the popular concept of charismatic leadership. He summarizes that apart from habit, self-interest, and fear. There is one more reason that people do follow leaders is that they do things in the right way. 

Charismatic leadership relies on the convincing ability of the leader. Moreover, they have a strong belief system towards their goal. The ability to make their followers or team feel the same towards their goal. When charismatic leaders start speaking, they can inspire and motivate people. 

Charismatic leadership depends on the individual personality. It is not built on skills or business structure. We could think of names such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King. 

You might know these famous people in the present-day like. Kazuo Hirai, former CEO of Sony Entertainment leads Sony to reconstruct Playstation. Oprah Winfrey, who is the founder of Oprah Winfrey Network. Sherly Sandberg, COO at Facebook – has helped Facebook to improve the earnings. Read also: Types of leadership styles

Charismatic Leadership Characteristics 

By understanding the Charismatic leadership characteristics that all leaders have in common. You can work on yourself as well as on your charisma to become a successful leader in your company. I will be sharing charismatic leadership characteristics that will inspire and attract followers. 

Charismatic Leadership involves confidence and a sense of style. It is also known as transformational leaders because of charisma. According to professor Wiseman, Charisma is 50% through training and 50% innate. I will list down the charismatic leadership characteristics below.


Charismatic Leaders are not afraid to push their limits. They often think outside of the box and thus, they are the one who is always leading the way. Whenever a problem arises, charismatic leaders only seek opportunities. 

Those leaders are not afraid of any difficulties. In business, charismatic leaders’ creativity can be powerful for transformation and change. 


People attract to powerful personalities like charismatic leaders. One of the attractions that charismatic leaders have is that they release confidence. Confident leaders have their strong sense of who they are. 

Also, they seldom reveal their self-doubt. Charismatic leaders always look at the bright side of things in life. They are always optimistic about their goal. If you want to be a strong leader then start practicing self-confidence. 


Charismatic leaders speak with charisma and confidence and thus, people listen to them. When they speak, their words are expressive and clear as each statement has its purpose. Charismatic leaders are always aware of their body language. Also, they make eye contact with the people while talking with them. They always express their goals and vision to the larger groups. 


The driving force and the main purpose of many leaders in the vision. Leaders want to make their vision a reality and thus, to achieve their dream, they set the goals. To achieve those goals, they organize strategy and work harder. 

They bring their team together to achieve their goals. Leaders never give up in a difficult situation as they start focusing on their goals. They push harder and continue working towards their goals. 


Charismatic leaders value innovation and have a dream. This inspires and motivates people as charismatic leaders focus on the future. According to the Universum Report, it reveals that 41% of executives look to empower employees in future leaders. 

Listening Skill 

Charismatic leaders are good listeners as they provide attention and do ask questions. They avoid checking their phones, so people tend to remember good listeners. Charismatic leaders listen with interest as well as pay attention to the conversation. 


The Charismatic Leaders are aware of their self and their powerful personality. They are also aware that their followers are observing them. Thus, they need to represent their good image to their followers. And this could do through Self-monitoring. 

Body Language 

By observation, you will notice they are open, warm, and have positive body language. They have a habit of making eye contact as they introduce themselves to strangers. 


The Charismatic Leader is aware of the qualities that make him different from the rest of the people. Those qualities of a leader make him charismatic and get attention. Thus, he knows that it is important to improve.

Types of Charismatic Leadership 

The 5 types of charismatic leadership are as follows.

1. Socialized Charismatics 

The focus of the Socialized Charismatics leaders is to benefit others. They never focus on a personal goal or taking advantage of others. Those leaders are considering for the selfless intent as well as helping others. Social Charismatics Leaders are ethical in their role of being leaders. 

The leader chases the goals that will fulfill the needs of their followers. Moreover, the followers of social charismatic leaders are responsible, empowering, and autonomous. 

2. Personalized Charismatics 

Those leaders use their powers to a certain extent for their own fit and serve their interests. Moreover, those leaders have high narcissism, non-egalitarian, self-aggrandizing, and high authoritarianism. 

They only support their followers when their self-serving goals can be accomplished. Those leaders gather power by serving their personal goals. The followers under that leadership are dependent, submissive, and obedient. 

3. Office-holder Charismatics 

The Office-holder Charismatics is the leader who is more of office space. They do not focus on personal characteristics. As the leader holds a specific position in the office. 

He attains high status in the office space and can use their power as well as authority with their position. As those leaders lack personal characteristics, charisma and thus, we forget them. 

4. Personal Charismatics 

The Personal Charismatics are the leaders who have high esteem as people have faith in them. They are the leaders with a high amount of advance emotional and social skills. The leaders can guide their followers with their right characteristics, traits, and behaviors. 

5. Divine Charismatics 

A crucial type of leader is the Divine Charismatic Leader. The Divine Charismatic Leader has been considering a Magnetic Savior. They have divine grace who would lead people from the crisis.

Charismatic leadership advantages and disadvantages 

Benefits of charismatic leadership 

Emotional Appeal

People get motivated and inspired by Charismatic Leaders as they can see a chance to do their own goals. The leaders give chance to the followers so both can feel the emotional connection. As that connection gets stronger, loyalties get stronger by the followers. 

Think Differently 

People start thinking differently when Charismatic Leaders share their vision with the people. Their perception about the specific goal changes. In some cases, people start thinking about bigger achievable dreams. Sometimes, it only requires the act of trusting to follow the charismatic leader. When a leader provides a strong message, people start taking risks for the leader. 

Decrease of Turnover Rate 

When employers are struggling with high attrition rates in the organization. The employers seek help from Charismatic Leaders. People connect with Charismatic Leaders because of their strong personalities and charisma. 

This creates a workplace friendly and welcoming. As the Charismatic Leader is willing to take risks to achieve the goal. People get encouraged by communication as well as rewards. 

Positive Impact on Society 

The best example of an optimistic Charismatic Leader is Martin Luther King Jr. His goal was to create a society by shifting people’s thoughts. The thoughts that shift towards laws, circumstances, and specific people. Moreover, he was ready to support people with the same vision of a better society. Also, he had to work hard to generate the result that he needs for the betterment of society. 

Learning Process 

Charismatic Leaders are not seeking perfection from their followers or team members. As charismatic leaders learn from their own mistakes, so do their followers learn. 

Shared Identity 

When people share their identity as a group, impossible goals can be possible. This will create a push towards larger change in a shorter time.

Disadvantages of charismatic leadership 

Energy levels of the leader 

Charismatic Leadership centers on the energy levels of the leader. Encouraging the followers to chase a dream will be exhausting. If the energy levels are not stable for the leader that may sink or reduce for a long time. 

Then people may give up on their vision. A leader always handles energy burnout as they carry the emotional burden. 

Prevents new opportunities. 

Charismatic Leaders convince their followers or team members to follow their vision. This will mean that people need to give up their own goals, dreams, plans, and creativity. 

As people are seeing something better from their leader’s perspective. People give up their opportunities so leaders could become stronger and influential. 

Change the value system. 

As people start following the leader to do the goals. Over time, there is a change in a person’s personality, spiritual definitions, and value system. Those people will start agreeing on things which they once used to feel awful about it. 

Selfish ambition 

One of the best examples of Charismatic Leadership comes from Adolf Hitler. He was lock in prison in 1923 as his attempt was to grab power through a rebellion in Munich. He denounced international capitalism and used his charismatic power to influence the electorate. 

Rigid Structure

Charismatic Leaders chase their vision no matter whatever the rules are at the place. Moreover, those leaders could be difficult to handle from an organizational point of view. Some processes everyone should follow, but these leaders may select their direction.

Charismatic Leadership examples

There are many examples of charismatic leaders in various field such as in politics, business, and social justice. Below are the examples of charismatic leadership.

Good Examples

Steve Jobs – Apple

Steve Jobs is a charismatic leader in the business world as he is persuasive and effective. He got people working under him though that people didn’t like him. Moreover, he keeps mentioning his ideas and objectives in almost all his speeches. Thus, people working in the company know his vision. He does not apply a single tactic of communication. Also, he does change his expression and figurative language according to the crowd.

Jack Welsch – General Electric

Jack Welsch is the CEO of General Electric and a good example of a Charismatic Leader. He comes from a sporting background as an athlete. Also, he found himself in General Electric working as a chemical engineer in 1960. He became the company’s youngest CEO in the year 1981. His approach was to create a positive atmosphere by making meaningful relationships. Moreover, his vision was to create a valuable and respectful business.

Mother Theresa

Mother Theresa fits the perfect definition of a Charismatic Leader. She was born in Macedonia and later, become a Roman Catholic. She left her position of teaching in 1946 to serve the poor of Calcutta. Between the years 1950 to 1960s, she started different facilities for the poor.

Those facilities help the poor fight against disease and malnutrition. Later, those facilities were set up all over the world. Mother Theresa had the vision to help those poor that do not have much. Moreover, her life focus was on her vision, others were inspiring by Mother Theresa’s example. This shows that what charismatic leadership could achieve.

Bad Examples

Charles Manson

Some leaders use their charisma for doing bad and Charles Manson is one of those leaders. A cult was uncovered in the US in the year 1969. It was known as “The Family” when the police found 9 dead bodies in Los Angeles. The leader of the cult was Charismatic Charles Manson who manages to kill young girls.Moreover, his leadership skill and charismatic nature was not a natural characteristic. As he had taken a course on leadership when he was in prison.

He got his ability to influence and manipulate people from a book. Book Name – How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. His example shows that how Charismatic Leadership can work if it is efficient.


Charismatic Leadership is a trait-based theory. It gives importance to the leader’s ability to influence the team members to achieve goals. Also, it is powerful leadership as it relies on the personal characteristics of the leader. Moreover, it provides lasting changes in the organization.

The Charismatic Leadership framework also focuses on commitment, conviction, and communication. Charismatic leaders always take risks to achieve their goals. Thus, they will have an optimistic impact on the organization or society. History has shown that charismatic leaders can lead their team members.

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