Charisma in Leadership LO17502

Ed Brenegar (
Mon, 23 Mar 1998 07:21:35 -0000

Replying to LO17491 --

John, Thanks for your comments. I agree that addressing purpose rather
than mere goals is essential. Starting with goals is like starting in the
middle of a novel or walking in the middle of a movie, something is
missing in background, context, starting point, etc.

Ron Heifetz is one of the more innovative thinkers on leadership. I heard
him at a conference in 1990, and found his work very fascinating. His
book Leadership Without Easy Answers (The Belknap Press of Harvard
University, 1994) is excellent.

Finally, you wrote:
>Even so it is does not mean we have to give our individuality up either.
>On the contrary, it is our own uniqueness which brings a diverse set of
>talents, a diverse way of looking through the lens which provides a rich
>decisional environment from which creative approaches can be constructed.

The problem with certain types of charismatic leadership is that it
doesn't allow for that difference in individuality to be expressed. If
the charismatic individual functions as a servant leader a la Greenleaf,
then it can provide the atmosphere for individuality to be respected and
utilized. But what I normally see is that the charismatic leader and the
organization which surrounds him or her seeks to assimilate all difference
into sameness, and therefore constricting the benefits of individual

Thanks for thoughts.

Ed Brenegar
Leadership Resources


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