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Charisma and Leadership

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A master's paper on Charisma and Leadership including traits and how to develop them.
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CharismaandLeadershipby Bill J. McCarley

May 1986 (original writing)

PREFACE

In the past couple of years, I attended several workshops and found leaders who are inspirational and attracted people to them due to their unique traits. Marshall Thurber is intense and dedicated in his presentation. Tony Robbins inspired me to "Walk on Fire" with his extremely high energy and hypnotic language. Tom Crum is centered, balanced, and spiritual in his Aiki training. Each one is different and yet each possesses something special. Marshall Thurber also introduced me to Buckminster Fuller through writings, audio recordings, and video recordings. Bucky was also special and beloved by thousands of people. I am indebted to these master teachers for what I have learned from them.

I wanted to know more about what these people possessed and believed it was possible for me to develop more of that magnetic quality. Thus began my interest in the area of charisma. I wanted to be more charismatic, to determine how charismatic traits could be developed, and to teach other people to be more charismatic leaders.

I began working on myself using video and basic practice. Then I met Marci Lynne, a "singing and charisma" coach, and through work with her, I discovered several important exercises and concepts that allowed me to significantly change myself. I am greatly indebted to her.

I am also indebted to my wife Linda and our two daughters Shaela and Tamra. They have shown great patience with me as I experimented with new ideas and behaviors. They have also supported me tremendously during my work on this report.

Editorial Note: In preparing this report, it was necessary for me to make a decision about how to handle the usage of masculine or feminine pronouns. While most of the leaders in the world are men, I also recognize that many are women. The majority of the writers on this topic use masculine pronouns and for continuity, I chose to do the same. I hope that no one will be offended by my decision.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION

2. CHARISMA CONCEPTS FROM THE PAST

THE WORKS OF WEBER

The Three Types of Authority

The Definition of Charisma

The Nature and Impact of Charisma

The Routinization of Charisma

The Issue of Succession

Charismatic Education

THE INTERPRETATIONS OF WEBER

Edward Shils

The Need for Order

Sources of Power

Deference to Power

Martin Spencer

Thomas E. Dow

Robert C. Tucker

Carl J. Friedrich

Joseph Bensman and Michael Givant

Psychoanalytical Views

Ann Ruth Willner

Charismatic Leadership

Identifying Charismatic Leaders

Contexts and Causes

Personal Qualities

SUMMARY

3. POWER AND LEADERSHIP

POWER BASES

LEADERSHIP

CHARISMA, POWER, AND LEADERSHIP

4. LEADER'S TRAITS AND BEHAVIORS

PERSONALITY TRAITS

RELATIONSHIP PATTERNS

ACTIONS AND BEHAVIORS

SUMMARY

5. DEVELOPMENT OF CHARISMA IN LEADERSHIP

TAXONOMY OF SKILLS

Adaptive Skills

Functional Skills

Summary

PATHS FOR DEVELOPMENT

Charismatic Education Elements

Currently Available Methodologies

BELIEFS AND ATTITUDES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

VITA

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

Life on this planet seems tough all over. People are starving by the millions; countries are looking for ways to survive economically; some countries are spending countless billions on weapons which could completely destroy life; businesses are struggling to be successful; farmers are going broke trying to provide the most important man-produced products; people everywhere are trying to maintain some semblance of dignity in their lives while others concentrate on how to stop the government from taking their material possessions; and on and on and on.

It is easy to follow all these events because we are in the Information Age. You can read the newspapers and countless magazines and books. You can listen to the radio or watch the newscasts on television. You can listen to almost anyone and hear about the tragedies happening everywhere. It is clearly a time when the world situation impresses upon us the need for a new form of leadership which is effective and caring and which can be admired by the people who will need to follow the leaders.

In times like these, leaders need to prepare themselves to serve their society or businesses in new and innovative ways. All of us have experienced leaders who have a special gift for empowering people. The term "charisma" is frequently used to describe these leaders. The prominent German social scientist Max Weber set forth many of the concepts and ideas about charisma, charismatic leadership, and charismatic authority. In Economy_and_Society, Weber (1968) discusses the great power of charisma during times of suffering and conflict and compares it to the force of "reason."

In traditionalist periods, charisma is the great revolutionary force. The likewise revolutionary force of "reason" works from without: by altering the situations of life and hence its problems, finally in this way changing men's attitudes toward them; or it intellectualizes the individual. Charisma on the other hand, may effect a subjective or internal reorientation born out of suffering, conflicts, or enthusiasm. It may then result in a radical alteration of the central attitudes and directions of action with a completely new orientation of all attitudes toward the different problems of the "world." (p. 245)

This makes today's era a time of great opportunity for both social (political) and business leadership to make radical changes that can improve the plight of humankind.

One way to exploit this opportunity is through the exploration of the concept of charisma and how it relates to effective leadership. A foundation can be set for establishing programs for charisma development through discussion of the following important areas.

1. The background information on charisma that was primarily pioneered by Max Weber and expounded on by many others.

2. Information on power and leadership with keys to maximizing leadership success.

3. Key personality traits, relationship patterns, and actions that make effective charismatic leaders.

4. An effective framework for charismatic skills development.

This paper offers important ties of the sociological and political writings about charisma, charismatic leadership, and charismatic authority to the emerging need for truly effective, transformational leaders. It also establishes possible strategies for leaders to use in developing more charismatic qualities.

James MacGregor Burns' book Leadership and the book Leaders by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus were especially influential in the development of the ideas in this paper. These authors hold an important perspective that is imperative for the success of life. In the prologue in Leadership, Burns (1978) states that effective leadership should be judged "by social change measured by intent and by the satisfaction of human needs and expectations" and "that leadership is nothing if not linked to collective purpose" (p. 3).

The purpose of leadership and the importance of charisma in leadership relates to the need for leaders to provide a vision for the future that raises the level of satisfaction and human dignity for all people and to work with their followers to achieve the vision while empowering all the people.

One person who was effectively directed along the path of serving all human life was R. Buckminster Fuller. At one point in his life, he vowed to devote his energy to serving humanity as a whole. He was dedicated to the elevation of all humans to never before realized levels of satisfaction and dignity. If the political and business leaders in the world today would follow his lead and take one medium-sized step in the direction of serving all of humanity, the impact on the world would be profound. Hopefully, the ideas presented in this paper will nudge and encourage managers and leaders to take a step toward enrolling themselves and others in a vision of increased world effectiveness.

CHAPTER 2

CHARISMA CONCEPTS FROM THE PAST

The majority of the writings on charisma reference the works of Max Weber as translated from its original German. Many writers, including Shils (1965), Tucker (1968), Spencer (1973), Dow (1969), Friedrich (1961), Bensman and Givant (1975), Willner (1984), and others, have interpreted and analyzed Weber's works. In some areas there is agreement about his concepts while in others there is not.

THE WORKS OF WEBER

Max Weber was a German social scientist and did most of his work in the early 1900's. There have been several translations of Weber's works. The most complete English translation is that of Economy and Society by Roth and Wittich (1968). It is a major sociological work and includes Weber's theories about charisma, charismatic leadership, and charismatic authority. In his introduction to Economy and Society, Guenther Roth (1968) spoke highly of Weber's work.

This work is the sum of Max Weber's scholarly vision of society. It has become a constitutive part of the sociological imagination as it is understood today. Economy and Society was the first strictly empirical comparison of social structure and normative order in world-historical depth. (p. xxvii)

Weber's ideas on social action and sociological typology, on instrumental and substantive rationality, on formal and material justice, on bureaucracy and charisma, on religious beliefs and economic conduct,

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