And It’s Not Intelligence
Steve Jobs. Malcolm X. Malala Yousafzai.
What do these three obscenely different, yet unequivocally influential people have in common?
Each of them have an unrivaled ability to be a leader. And they are able to do this because of their mastery of charisma.
Charisma is defined by Oxford Languages as “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others”, and is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm”.
So why would someone with charisma make a better leader than others? It’s not hard to see why. The ability to stoke a fire in others is one that is hard to come by, but one that is of immense value. It guarantees loyalty, effort, and passion from those who work with the person. I consider each of these traits far more important to a team and a project than intellect.
A charismatic leader can make an okay idea sound revolutionary, while an uncharismatic leader can turn a truly revolutionary idea into something boring. A charismatic leaders inspires people to act.
The value of charisma is obvious. Who wants to be surrounded by boring people with no passion? And yet it remains a rare find. However, charisma can be learned.
Here are some tips on how to exude charisma to everyone you meet.
Nothing says friendly like a nice smile! It creates an inviting and comfortable atmosphere. It’s fun, and people will be naturally attracted to it. Just think about how you feel approaching emotionless people, or someone with a scowl. It’s scary. Smile more and be friendly, and people will come your way.
This one is important. Never underestimate the value of eye contact. It shows that you value someone, and that you recognize their presence. Even more important, they will be forced to recognize your presence. Good eye contact is rare enough that it will most definitely make you stand out in a crowd of people. It will make you more likable and respectable.
Speak With Conviction
Nobody wants to listen to an idea that is expressed monotonously, no matter how cool. Nobody wants to listen to a boring person talk. In general, people suck at this. Remember this next time you listen to someone struggling to give a presentation, and compare this to the exciting deliveries of innovators such as Steve Jobs. Compare the monologues of respected people in the workplace to their followers. Leaders are exciting when they speak. They use influx with their voice, communicate with facial expressions, include hand motions, and emphasize their beliefs.
Be Genuine, and Be Confident
Don’t try to be cooler than you are. People find it much easier to connect with those that are genuine. You should want to be people’s friend, and genuinely connect and care about them. Don’t try to impress them, or make them submissive to you. Just be a good person, and be you. Think about how you feel when you are around fake people with something to prove, versus meeting a cool and confident new friend. Everyone wants a friend.
Be Exciting, Be Friendly, Be Compassionate, Be in the Moment,
But most importantly …..
Be and Believe in Yourself