Charismatic vs. Authentic Leadership
Many political and business leaders have lost the trust and respect of the American people in recent years due to various corporate, political, and financial scandals. Ethics and corruption played a role in this; however, we also are choosing erroneous traits in these types of leaders. The media can glorify, exaggerate, and emphasize certain negative qualities of our leaders, however, the new and distinctive challenge a new leader faces is being trustworthy and whether or not they are genuine as well as simultaneously being effective. In the United States only a small percentage of leaders are trusted, 18% in total, 15% of the nation’s political leaders are trusted (“Bill George, Opportunity International”, http://post.blackboard.com/). The main reason for this lack of trust is that followers are looking for the wrong traits, such as charisma rather than authenticity.
Charismatic leadership does not always involve trusting leadership, although it can draw us as followers into their persona and deceive us so that we can believe in and trust this specific leader. Charismatic leaders have a deep emotional effect on their followers. Followers see charismatic leaders as bosses as well as role models and heroes whom are designated a superstar status. Charismatic leaders have the tendency to capture our imagination as well as inspire their followers’ devotion and commitment. Political and religious leaders can be described as charismatic, however, business leaders are oftentimes gifted as well (Nahavandi, 2012). These leaders know how to use their magnetism and charm to inspire followers.
Charismatic leaders inspire followers to become devoted and loyal to them and to their vision. This type of relationship entails an adoring bond between leaders and their followers and goes far beyond modest interactions. Followers make a charismatic leader. The charismatic attachment is far from the standard of leadership circumstances and neither crucial nor adequate for effective leadership. Charisma is the authority relationship that occurs when a leader elicits a response of awe, deference, or devotion from people through the dynamics of a set of teachings, or a unique personality (Sandberg & Moreman, 2011). This bond is what keeps followers adhered to the leaders despite the leadership not being effective.
Authentic Leadership is based upon being yourself and understanding your strengths and weaknesses and how to develop and/ or how to improve them. A distinguished authentic leader has the capacity to assess themselves truthfully, including their strengths, weaknesses, and values. When an individual is their authentic self, it means that they are behaving in the manner that displays their true self. Authentic leadership has been recommended to influence ethical behaviors in followers as well as other positive outcomes, such as well-being (Business Ethics Quarterly, 2011). An Authentic Leader is a leader whom leads by their values, morals, and integrity. They are straightforward and true to themselves as well as those around them. They also care about the world that they live in and wish to improve it. An Authentic Leader has the valor to take accountability for the ways that they need to modify and develop and they take action on it without hesitation. They also wish to help their followers modify and develop to be their best selves possible.
Nahavandi, A. (2012). The Art and Science of Leadership. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Relationships between Authentic Leadership, Moral Courage, and Ethical and Pro-Social Behaviors. (2011). Business Ethics Quarterly, 21(4), 555-578. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Sandberg, Y., & Moreman, C. M. (2011). Common Threads Among Different Forms of Charismatic Leadership. International Journal of Business & Social Science, 2(9), 235-240. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.