Charisma in leadership LO17605

Mon, 30 Mar 1998 18:57:07 EST

Replying to LO17591 --


On 3-29 you wrote:

>It's unfortunate, but I think a fact of life that ideas are judged not
>only on their own merits but also the force of personality of the person
>who delivers it.

However unfortunate, I think that you have identified a fact of life. In
my career I have had to confront the same issue and have some good news
for you. Charisma or "presence" can be developed. You have displayed the
first and most important ingredient for this development. In bringing this
subject to this type of public forum you have shown courage.

Without going into detail, there was a point in my life when I did not
have enough charisma to effectively lead the group of 5 people that
reported to me. I now sell transformational programs to business owners
and CEOs and lead groups of people in workshops and coaching relationships
for a living. Without an effective command of charisma I and my family
would be very hungry. The following is a superficial exploration of the
subject that you opened up. It is meant to give you some things to think
about and some resources to begin an inquiry for yourself.

In my experience, personally and with clients, charisma is a function of
passion. People who are passionate about their beliefs bring a measure of
credibility to whatever subject they are discussing. Passion for a
purpose is contagious, it is different from righteousness; Passion allows
other people to sign on to your ideas and join your cause, righteousness
negates other people and drives them away. It is easy for me to advise
you to "be more passionate" it is not that easy to be. The trick is to
access the passion that exists within you. Here are two areas to look at
for yourself:

1. What values are you passionate about that you stand for, or can
contribute to others? Look at Peter Senges' Fifth Discipline Fieldbook
"core values exercize" for excellent excercize to get in touch with your
core values. Also Senges' "Fifth Discipline" on Personal Mastery is a
good source.

2. In many cases we have passion for some purpose that we see as
meaningful, and our work is a way of fulfilling this purpose. However we
also have baggage like cynicism, fear or mistrust in ourselves that blocks
access to our passionate commitment to such a purpose. You are probably
not even aware that there is such baggage, let alone what it is. There is
a book called "Excess Baggage" by Judith Sills that provides a well guided
inquiry for identifying the unique baggage that may be blocking your
access to this passion.

I realize that this is not an answer to your issue, hopefully it gives you
some resources for your inquiry.

Brad Zimmerman
Pioneering Management Possibilities
Developing Human Assets for Breakthrough Results in Business



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