The Charismatic Leader and the Transformational Leader can have many similarities, in that the Transformational Leader may well be charismatic. Their main difference is in their basic focus. Whereas the Transformational Leader has a basic focus of transforming the organization and, quite possibly, their followers, the Charismatic Leader may not want to change anything.
Despite their charm and apparent concern, the Charismatic Leader may well be somewhat more concerned with themselves than anyone else. A typical experience with them is that whilst you are talking with them, it is like being bathed in a warm and pleasant glow, in which they are very convincing. Yet afterwards, ask the sunbeam of their attention is moved elsewhere, you may begin to question what they said (or even whether they said anything of significance at all).
The values of the Charismatic Leader are highly significant. If they are well-intentioned towards others, they can elevate and transform an entire company. If they are selfish and Machiavellian, they can create cults and effectively rape the minds (and potentially the bodies) of the followers.
Their self-belief is so high, they can easily believe that they are infallible, and hence lead their followers into an abyss, even when they have received adequate warning from others. The self-belief can also lead them into psychotic narcissism, where their self-absorption or need for admiration and worship can lead to their followers questioning their leadership.
They may also be intolerant of challengers and their irreplaceability (intentional or otherwise) can mean that there are no successors when they leave.
What sets charismatic leaders apart is that they are “essenti...
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...Democratic leaders are highly rational and deliberate in their style
• Charismatic leaders appeal to the emotions of the audience
• In the charismatic leadership style, working toward a greater good is emphasized
Comparing autocratic and charismatic leadership
Likewise, charismatic and autocratic leadership styles share some traits. Both leaders often increase employee productivity. The key difference: The charismatic leader typically inspires employees to perform. The autocratic leader uses their authority to demand high performance. The short-term result is identical, although the long-term consequences may differ.
Charismatic leaders structure their organizations as they see fit. This is another example of a crossover between charismatic and autocratic leadership styles. The intensity of both styles may also generate early burnout of their leaders (and followers).
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