Charisma Can Be Dangerous in a Leader

Charismatic Leadership
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Warren D. Miller, CPA, CFA
Strategy Consultant, United States

Charisma Can Be Dangerous in a Leader

Nearly all of the most destructive leaders in history--Stalin, Hitler, Mao, et al.--were highly charismatic leaders. On a PBS program more than thirty years ago, I watched the late management scholar, Peter Drucker, say (I wrote it down!): "Charismatic leadership is non-leadership because the charisma of the leader blinds followers to the absence of substance in the leader's message... until it's too late." That's not to say that all leaders with charisma are bad. They're not. But charisma is a distraction and can be enormously destructive when it trumps substance.


Borje Vickberg, Sweden

Freudian Remark

English is not my mother tounge. I like the remark of Warren Miller. Maybe it takes an American to construct the phrase" it TRUMPS substance", when discussing charisma.

Warren D. Miller, CPA, CFA
Strategy Consultant, United States

Many Thanks, Borje

Truth be told, the pun was utterly unconscious. But your comment elicited a loud guffaw from me just now, and I do appreciate it!

Benjamin Motlhabane
Consultant, South Africa

Charisma Has Its Place in Organisations

Applied correctly and in appropriate doses, charisma does inspire people and keeps them motivated. ... Sign up

Graham Williams
Management Consultant, South Africa

What is the Motivation to Become More Charismatic?

Warren has stated what shouldn't be ignored. Being charismatic 'in a positive way' doesn't change hi... Sign up


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