Charismatic leadership Max Weber (1947) used the term “charisma” as a source of power. Charisma in Greek means “divinely inspired gift”, exceptional qualities, such as the ability to perform miracles or predict future events. Leaders who appear confident about their vision, make self-sacrifices, pay high costs to achieve their vision are more likely to be viewed as charismatic leaders.
Charismatic leadership andcrisis Research has consistently shown that under conditions of crisis, threat, and stress, followers seek and respond positively to individuals who are bold, confident, and appear to have clear solutions to existing problems.
Charismatic leader behaviorsSome specific charismatic leader behaviors (House & Shamir, 1993): articulation of a vision, communication of high performance expectations of followers, demonstration of a high degree of confidence in followers, emphasizing value and collective identification, taking extraordinary risks, making substantial personal sacrifices in the interest of the charismatic mission.
Visionary leadership The ability to create and articulate a realistic, credible, attractive vision of the future for an organization or organizational unit that grows out of and improves upon the present.
Mechanisms of charismaticleadership Followers seek their leader’s approval and it is very important to them to please and imitate the leader. The influence of a charismatic leader is due to the internalization of new values and beliefs by followers. Charismatic leaders create a sense of urgency that requires greater effort by followers to meet high expectations.
Negative sides of charismaticleadership Being in awe of the leader reduces good suggestions by followers. Adoration by followers creates delusions of infallibility. Excessive confidence and optimism blind the leader to real dangers. Dependence on the leader inhibits development of competent successors. Charismatic leaders may seek to dominate followers by keeping them dependent on the leader.
Components of transformationalleadership (Burns, Bass, Avolio) Idealized influence: behaviors that arouse strong followers’ emotions and identification with the leader. Individualized consideration: providing support, encouragement, and coaching to followers. Inspirational motivation: communicating an appealing vision and modeling appropriate behaviors. Intellectual stimulation: behaviors that increase followers’ awareness of problems and viewing problems from new perspectives.
Transformational and charismaticleadership The purely charismatic leadership may want followers to adopt the leader’s world view and go no further. However, transformational leadership attempts to encourage followers to question not only established views but those established by the leader.
Developing a vision asan initiator of change A clear and compelling vision is very useful to guide change. Vision help people to justify their sacrifices and hardships the change will require. Vision provide hope for better future. Vision coordinate organizational actions.
Desirable characteristicsfor a vision Simple and idealistic; not a complex plan with quantitative objectives; Should emphasize distant ideological objectives rather than immediate tangible benefits; Picture of desirable future; Ideals of stakeholders and hope and values of employees should be implied in the vision; Must include meaningful expression of organization mission and values; slogans; Challenging but realistic; attainable future grounded in the present reality; Should not be fantasy; Can be communicated easily.
Examples Our vision is to deliver the best Internet experience on any device on all major platforms. (an ISP vision) Our vision is to be a destination of choice for high quality staff and students, known for our excellence in real world teaching, research and service; our deep engagement with the communities we serve; and the capacity of our graduates to work effectively in a changing and internationalised workplace. (a university)
Examples (continued) Creating innovative software that helps individuals and organizations realize their full potential (Microsoft). Our vision is to build the worlds most efficient, most influential and highest-tech company (a Chinese IT company)
Procedures for developing avision It is essential to have good understanding of the organization, its culture, underlying needs, hopes and values of employees and stakeholders. Involve key stakeholders and encourage open conversation to reach shared vision; Identify strategic objectives with wide appeal; Identify relevant elements in the old ideology; Link the vision to core competencies; Continually assess and refine the vision.