What Are Some Examples of Charismatic Leaders?

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Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Gandhi and Winston Churchill could all be considered charismatic. Charisma is defined as having an appeal that draws people and helps an individual attain power over them, so the definition of charismatic is, to some extent, subjective.

According to Psychology Today, there is no consensus about whether or not charisma is a natural quality or one that is learned. Charisma involves excellent communication, which is a learned skill, but it also involves being able to appeal to people on a more spiritual level. Good charismatic leaders are able to identify what people seek and offer solutions that appeal to them in a way that causes them to want to follow and support them.

In essence, charismatic leadership focuses on the resolve to take on a cause more so than on the actual performance of the leader. Since a charismatic leader's performance isn't really evaluated, there is no consensus as to whether charismatic leaders are actually effective leaders. Experts suggest another type of leadership, transformational leadership, which involves elements of charismatic leaders, is actually more effective. Transformational leadership not only involves motivating followers but inspiring them to respond intellectually and to help the leader devise solutions.