As humans, we are often conditioned to think that more means better. Actually, more is not necessarily better – even when you are talking about a charismatic leader.
When executive search firms are providing their services to companies hiring for a senior executive position they will ask the latter what effective leadership looks like for such a role. The frequent answer? “Someone charismatic”.
It is not unusual to assume that all you need to do to make your company great is add a charismatic CEO. The chance that this will be the outcome could very well be the same odds to win $1 million dollars in a lottery. Yes, it is easy to fall in the assumptions trap - and we all know how that ends, as assumptions are the mother of all mistakes.
There is a certain paradox in the expectations of a leader. On the one hand, charisma is seen as an imperative requirement in a leader, while on the other hand, it can be seen as a negative trait since it can be oppressive. If your company is heading in the right direction, a charismatic leader will most likely get you there faster. Unfortunately, if you are heading in the wrong direction, charisma will also speed you to your destination.
People who are considered to be great leaders don’t just have charisma. The best leaders want their team to shine and will do whatever they can to help them succeed. They step back to allow their team members to take the spotlight. Such leaders make decisions with the team’s best interests in mind, and ensure that everyone has the resources they need to achieve their objectives. In other words, these are servant leaders: they focus on the needs of others, especially team members, before they consider their own.