Charismatic Leadership Essay


This essay gives an overview of assorted leading types and focal points on the magnetic leading. It attempts to explicate the magnetic leading procedure with an illustration of Mahatma Gandhi as a magnetic leader. It goes farther and explores the properties that a magnetic leader possesses. The essay besides tries to happen out assorted effects of magnetic leading on the organisation. While adverting the positive effects of the magnetic leading. it besides investigates the “dark” side of the magnetic leading. After reading the essay the readers are expected to hold gained adequate acquaintance with this sort of leading and at the terminal of the essay I would wish to set forth a twosome of inquiries sing magnetic leading which have remained unreciprocated after reading the stuff I have cited.


Any type of organisation tallies successfully when it is piloted by a adept and influential leader. While leaders motivate their followings. it is non the lone thing leaders can make. A good leader can construction the organisation in the manner he wants. He represents the civilization of the organisation and most significantly. it has been observed that effectual leaders posses a capacity to increase the productiveness of the organisation. Assorted bookmans categorize leading manners in a different manner. Lewin ( 1939 ) classifies leading manners in three classs: Autocratic Leadership. Democratic Leadership and Delegative ( Laissez-Faire ) Leadership [ 1 ] . Max Weber classifies leaders as Bureaucratic Leader. Traditional Leaders and Charismatic Leaders [ 2 ] . In 1978 Burns defined yet another categorization: Transactional Leaderships and Transformational Leaders [ 2 ] . Burns Transformational Leadership is similar to Charismatic Leadership manner proposed by Weber. Since 1978 a batch of research has been done on assorted facets of magnetic leading. In this essay I would wish to concentrate on magnetic leading. its properties and traits in magnetic leaders.

What is magnetic leading?

Weber defines magnetic leading as “resting on devotedness to the exceeding holiness. gallantry or model character of an single individual. and of the normative forms or order revealed or ordained by him” [ 3 ] . He envisaged spiritual leaders like Jesus as magnetic leaders. Subsequently researches considered assorted social-political leaders like Mahatma Gandhi as magnetic leaders. Dictators like Hitler besides had some magnetic traits. These were the leaders with exceeding qualities which made them about god-like for their followings. The appeal of such people made their followings go behind these leaders without oppugning them. While analysing such a strong bond between the leaders and his followings Weber focuses on the societal forms and conditions under which the leader exists.

However. the ulterior researches throw visible radiation on the psychological properties of the leaders which make them successful magnetic leaders. Research shows that magnetic leaders appeal strongly to the values of the followings and it is this psychological bondage between the two which makes the magnetic leading win. Neither the sociologically oriented Weberian attack nor the psychological attack entirely can explicate magnetic leaders. The attacks together. nevertheless. give the better analysis of magnetic leading.

Charismatic Leadership Process

Charismatic leading procedure is seen as a compound merchandise of three factors: The leader and his properties. the societal state of affairs which demands for such a leader and the interaction between the leader and his followings. Charismatic leading procedure undergoes six stairss from the rise of the leader to the concluding routinization and therefore the autumn of the leader [ 4 ] . I would wish to place Mahatma Gandhi as a magnetic leader and explicate these six stairss with an illustration of his leading in India’s non-violent freedom motion.

Measure 1: Designation

This measure takes topographic point from the composite mixture of the three factors mentioned above. It is a phase where the aspirant leader is on the societal skyline ; the followings are in hurt and are looking frontward to person who will place himself with their jobs. The societal state of affairs is progressively acquiring worsened in this phase. This is the clip when the leader establishes him as a possible leader but the followings. by big. remain inactive. In Gandhi’s leading this can be said to hold taken topographic point during the old ages 1915-1920 when Gandhi was back to India from a successful motion in South Africa. India had no tall leader whom it could depend on and Gandhi’s personal appeal was merely started demoing its colourss ( Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha ) [ 5 ] .

Measure 2: Activity Arousal

In this measure the leader arouses the follower to go the portion of the alteration. Followings who were inactive supporters of the leader till the earlier stage go active protagonists of the leader and the cause for which he is placing himself. The longer this phase lasts the thirster is a span of the magnetic leading. In Gandhi’s instance this measure lasted from 1920 boulder clay 1930. Gandhi’s non-cooperation motion in 1921 is a precise illustration of activity rousing phase where he awakened the whole state to lift against the British regulation [ 6 ] .

Measure 3: Committedness

Commitment phase in the magnetic leading is without any uncertainty the most interesting measure in the procedure. This measure takes the magnetic leading at the extremum and at the same clip this is the stage when the magnetic leader starts losing his personal appeal. This measure starts by showing the utmost committedness of the leader towards the end and same committedness from the followings towards the leader. This presentation frequently takes the form of some sort of forfeit on the portion of the leader or at hand danger on the leader. This forfeit or danger makes the image of the leader as brave and dedicated in the eyes of many followings. Interestingly. this same act makes some of the elect followings disillusioned and they start surmising their leader as grandiloquent and hypocrite. This is the phase where the leading can be bifurcated into two classs as a individualized leading and socialised leading. The first type of leading tends to go autocratic and exploitatory.

The 2nd type of leader is more classless and he will portion power and duty with others. In either manner. the individualized leader will go dictator and will lose his personal appeal and the socialised type of leader will assist routinizing the leading! The illustration for individualized leader can be of Hitler who finally became a dictator. Gandhi can be seen as a merger of both types with unequivocal disposition towards socialized type of leading. For Gandhi the committedness phase can be said to hold lasted from 1930 to 1935. Salt Satyagraha can be considered as the extremum of his personal appeal and the diplomatic failure at the Round Table Conference can be seen as the first symbol of the following measure of the disillusion [ 7 ] .

Measure 4: Disenchantment

This stage is rather ineluctable and sometimes even knowing on the portion of the leader. Many times societal construction brings the disillusion phase. Sometimes. because the leaders themselves know that they are non immortal. they try to convey the routinization in the leading. This routinization brings the feel of loss of end to some followings. This measure may lose some of the strongest followings from the leader. This measure is besides an result of the scenario when the leader seems to be neglecting. As the magnetic leaders are non really good at the formal procedural leading [ 4 ] more routinization brings more failure and more disillusion of the followings. In Gandhi’s instance disillusion started from 1933 and lasted boulder clay 1938 in which phase he lost many of his old followings like Subhas Chandra Bose [ 8 ] . However this is the stage where the procedure of routinization seemed to hold taken topographic point clearly.

Measure 5: Depersonalization

This measure is a logical follower of the earlier measure of disillusion. Disenchantment starts because of routinization and it leads to the depersonalisation and formalisation of the leading. The leading manner becomes more and more like bureaucratic leading. The leader starts deputing his undertakings to his followings. This stage comes in Gandhi’s leading during 1938-1942. This is the period when he made it clear that Jawaharlal Nehru will be his political inheritor. It is the clip when he withdrew himself partially from the active political relations [ 9 ] .

Measure 6: Alienation

This is a procedure of decomposition of the three factors mentioned in the beginning which had come together in stage one. In this measure. due to the formalisation and bureaucratization of the leading. magnetic leading becomes progressively excess. The followings feel that the organisation and the leader are traveling off from the initial end and therefore they start estranging themselves from the organisation and the personal appeal of the leader fades as the societal state of affairs which has made him appeal to the multitudes has changed. This phase does non needfully intend the failure of the leader. In many instances. holding achieved the end for which the magnetic leader had risen. the leader becomes excess for his followings and the end itself becomes redundant for the leader. Years 1942-1948 show this stage in Gandhi’s leading. Though Gandhi remained popular and worshiped leader of India till his blackwash. his personal appeal faded bit by bit in his last old ages [ 10 ] .

Properties of Charismatic leaders

After holding described what is magnetic leading and how does it work. it is interesting to happen out what makes one a magnetic leader. What are the properties that a magnetic leader posses or what are the traits which make person a possible magnetic leader? It is clear from the above treatment that the existent rise of such a leader is a composite map of assorted variables. However. this subdivision will seek to depict the personal traits that make a individual a possible leader. There are some properties which are exhibited by a individual at his childhood or adolescence which make a individual possible magnetic leader. This statement is rather ambitious and slightly overdone. However. the converse of the sentence is true. The research shows that magnetic leaders do demo some specific form of behaviour at their adolescence [ 11 ] .

Parental Attachment Style and Parental Psychological Control [ 11 ] It has been observed that a manner a kid is attached to his parents in his adolescence dramas of import function determining him as an effectual magnetic leader. It is seen that immature grownup firmly attached to his parents tends to organize a positive relationship with his followings in the ulterior life.

Many of the qualities possessed by a magnetic leader such as assurance. self-pride are besides found in a kid who has a parental fond regard manner which is secure. independent and displays relatedness. These properties are considered as positive properties in parental attachment manner for the development of a magnetic leader. It is besides obvious that these qualities in the parental fond regard manner make the kid emerging to an grownup more self-aware and assist him doing sense of his topographic point in the universe. Empirical research suggests that magnetic leaders besides have same sense of self-awareness and they are frequently introverted in measuring their ain beliefs. Therefore. it is proposed that there is a positive relationship between parental attachment manner and shows of magnetic leading by emergent grownup.

It is seen. on the other manus. that parental control impedes the development of an emergent grownup. Excessive psychological control by parents on the kid makes him insecure and less confident. This proves to be a barrier in his development as a magnetic leader. Parental psychological control besides acts as an obstruction in set uping societal dealingss and it make a state of affairs of isolation for the emergent grownup. Psychological control is seen as a negative factor in emergent adults’ shows of magnetic leading

Apart from above mentioned property. which attempts to reply the inquiry “who are the magnetic leaders” . there are some properties which try to reply the inquiry “what makes a individual a magnetic leader” . Here are some traits which can be identified with the magnetic leader [ 12 ] .


One of the qualities of the magnetic leaders is that they watch themselves. They are invariably cognizant of the fact that their followings are watching them and so they find it of import that they portray a good image of themselves for their followings. As the magnetic leaders are born out of the blend of societal scenario and follower’s demands. it becomes imperative for such leaders to invariably place themselves with that societal scenario and the demand. Charismatic leaders can pull off that merely if they monitor themselves to do certain that they are still replying to the same supplication which made them such a popular leader.


Self motive is an of import portion of magnetic leading. The leader gets motivated by the societal scenario without being prompted about it. He can turn to his followings with the energy merely when he is self-actualized himself. It has been observed that such leaders non merely actuate themselves but they have a capacity to transform this self-actualization to their followings as good. They really raise their followings from one degree to the higher degree.

Motive to Achieve Power

Charismatic leaders frequently do non seek conventional power. They may non inquire for an official station or place but what they look for is a societal power. They want their follower to esteem them and see them as their Jesuss. They want to win the place in their follower’s Black Marias. They look for placing themselves with their follower’s values and shared beliefs. Such leaders are rated high on their societal accomplishments to carry the multitudes and appeal them to their Black Marias. It is this power which keeps them popular for longer clip.

Self Enhancement

Charismatic leaders are known for their self-correcting nature. They judge themselves on a rigorous graduated table. They continuously strive to go better. They. in fact. cognize that it is this “superiority” in them which makes them different from their followings. Charismatic leaders believe that when finally they will convey their followings to their present degree of “superiority” . they themselves should hold gone one measure above it to stay their leaders.

Openness to Change

While most of the other types of the leaders try to keep status-quo as they are frequently afraid that alteration might force out them from the power. magnetic leaders are unfastened to alter. In fact. they represent the alteration and many times they prove to be the 1s who bring about the alterations. It is interesting to observe that magnetic leaders are most powerful in the state of affairs which demands the alterations!

Results of magnetic leading

Having seen the procedure of the magnetic leading and the properties which the magnetic leaders posses. it becomes ineluctable to discourse the results of the magnetic leading. Many bookmans see magnetic leading as positive force which yields desirable consequences. However there are some bookmans who focus on negative facets of the magnetic leading. We will see both sides of the magnetic leading. It is observed that magnetic leading motivates followings to give excess end product than what is expected from them otherwise. It besides achieves self-actualization in its followings [ 12 ] . It is seen that magnetic leading works in a societal construction to rise the morale of the followings. It shapes the society the manner the followings and the leader had dreamt. In the concern universe besides the magnetic leading works positively. It increases the overall public presentation of the organisation. It creates a sense of fulfilment in the followings. It besides creates a sense of integrity and belongingness in the followings towards the organisation.

Charismatic leading besides has terrible negative effects in some instances. The shared vision and thoughts between the leader and followings create tremendous energy in the organisation. The leader can use this energy in destructive manner. The more the leader’s self-confident is the more are the opportunities that the leader will misapply the power. It’s been observed in many instances that magnetic leaders have abused their powers. Many companies have witnessed their high rank leaders traveling corrupt [ 13 ] . Because of first-class communicating abilities of the magnetic leaders and due to the fact that they display some sort of personal appeal. the whole organisation follows these leaders wholeheartedly and at that place remain perfectly no opposition for the leader.

Without any cheque on the power. it doesn’t take clip for the leader to travel corrupt. Any healthy organisation shows competition for power which besides represents hassle between values and with deficiency of this hassle there remains no control on the leader. Followings of the magnetic leaders are so blinded by his personal appeal that they might even make some Acts of the Apostless that they wouldn’t have done normally. Atrocious Acts of the Apostless by German soldiers under Hitler’s leading are an disposed illustration [ 13 ] . It was an unquestionable trueness for their leader that compelled them to move in the manner that they largely wouldn’t have acted otherwise.


This essay explains adequate information about the magnetic leading. There are some inquiries about the magnetic leading which have still remained unreciprocated. After depicting the properties of the magnetic leader and the positive and negative results of the magnetic leading. it remains unknown that what makes a magnetic leader a “hero” and what makes him a “villain” . Are at that place any specific attributes that make magnetic leader as a “hero” or a “villain” ? The 2nd inquiry is sing the “making of magnetic leaders” . After set uping that the magnetic leaders have certain features. it remains to see that if everyone holding those properties can go a successful leader. And this inquiry gives rise to yet another inquiry that whether a magnetic leader can be “made” . Is it possible to “create” magnetic leaders by formal instruction? Third and last inquiry mostly depends on the first two inquiries: If such magnetic leaders can be created by professional preparation so is it possible to make a “hero” type of magnetic leaders and avoid “dark side” of the magnetic leading?

Note: Although I have mentioned magnetic leader as him throughout the essay. the latest research shows that adult females are more disposed to go a magnetic leaders [ 14 ] . I have mentioned the magnetic leaders as him because of the fact that most of the magnetic leaders known to the universe are work forces and the illustrations which I have used are all male leaders!



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