Lacking charisma? Don't worry, it comes with the job

Charisma may be something you get from your position, rather than what gets you there in the first place...

by dave waller
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013
At least that’s according to research from Cambridge Judge Business School, which looked into charisma in the workplace - how the mysterious quality affects both the fortunes of a team and an individual’s centrality to it.

The received wisdom when it comes to charisma is that it’s a trait which helps land you in a role: beyond the common question of whether it can be acquired or whether it's innate, if you are able to create enough of an aura around yourself, perhaps by changing your message to suit enough different people on the way up, you’ll soon find yourself becoming more of a central player. Professor Martin Kilduff used the example of Jesus in describing this effect (although he did go on to cite the Bush presidency as an example of the ‘vision’-based model of charisma, so we’re not sure how well his charm radar is working).

Compared to the Bush approach – what Kilduff describes as ‘booming from a high place with your vision of the future, slamming the door and going back to dream up new great thoughts’ - the research found that becoming charismatic is often a ‘much more mundane process’: it’s largely a matter of boning up on your subject and becoming an expert, giving advice to people as well as being able to take it, treating people with consideration and making yourself available. When leaders interact with their subordinates, he says, they build social capital that has a positive effect on how they’re perceived.

So the advice, no matter how you got into your position, is to talk, not shout; to ask, not tell; and to point stuff out to people – and bingo! Soon you’ll have that messianic glow. And according to the other key finding of the research, charisma matters. The team’s study of several Indian and US organisations found that if you are seen as charismatic by your team you are more likely to lead one that’s high performing. At least you won’t have to come off like George Bush to do so.



Tags:
Retail

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Upcoming Events

Latest on MT

5 things you didn't know about R&D tax credits

5 things you didn't know about R&D tax credits

Is your business innovating? You could claim back tax on fuel, staff and other costs.

Can you start your own business without quitting your day job?

Can you start your own business without quitting your day job?

Torn between the freedom of the start-up life and the security of the payroll? As a part-time entrepreneur you can have both.

Meet the entrepreneur making credit scores free

Meet the entrepreneur making credit scores free

Former ZAPP CMO Justin Basini has built an ad-funded credit score start-up with more than 2 million users.

Do companies actually believe in gender equality?

Do companies actually believe in gender equality?

Diversity programmes may be great to pad out the CSR page on your website, but be ready to practise what you preach.

Which Olympic sport matches your small business style?

Which Olympic sport matches your small business style?

Sponsored: Are you a target-focused archer or a soaring pole vaulter?

Aldi and Lidl will continue to grow

Aldi and Lidl will continue to grow

UPDATE: The discounters' market share is already expanding at the expense of the Big Four, and economic uncertainty over Brexit will only help them.