What’s it about?

Charismatic Leadership (2020) is a practical and constructive guide to become a more efficient leader through charisma. We’ve all had a favorite mentor or boss – someone who inspires and motivates us to do our best with their words, energy, and conviction. Charismatic Leadership teaches how to be that person or leader.

About the author:

Kevin Murray is a leadership coach, speaker, and author of best-selling books The Language of Leaders and Communicate to Inspire. Before his advisory role, he was a successful businessman, holding positions as director of communications for British Airways and director of corporate affairs for the UK Atomic Energy Authority.


Charisma is essential – and its importance is growing:

Take a minute to think of the most inspirational and impelling leaders in this world. Who’s on your list? Perhaps people like Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, or Martin Luther King. But what precisely makes these figures so appealing and inspiring? In a word: charisma. For leaders, charisma is a must, and its importance is growing. Through five distinct characteristics, charismatic leaders cultivate efficient presence: authenticity, personal strength, warmth, drive, convincingness. But you must not be tricked – those qualities must not be oozed to be genuinely charismatic. Excessive quantities of all five characteristics could even have an adverse effect on your business! Instead, each of the five in balance should be much better. 

According to research from the author, moderate levels of charisma can increase the respect of employees by 65 percent, 56 percent more motivated, and 24 percent happier to go above and beyond in their work—that extra engagement and productivity translate to a host of other benefits, including more significant profit. The annual net returns of companies with highly committed workers are two times that of those with limited employees.

Numbers aside, because of the increasingly automated workforce today, charisma is only growing. In 2030, up to 375 million people will need to change their profession worldwide and acquire new skills, the McKinsey Global Institute reports. Technology will also contribute to a much stronger remote culture of work. The kind of charisma that inspires a team is more important than a full-time staff working in offices.

To wrap it up, business forecasters believe that workforces will be divided into two groups. On the one hand, you’ll have tech-oriented people working with advanced technologies. On the other, you’ll have charismatic, inventive individuals leading the charge to implement the changes and ensure company success.

These factors imply that strong leaders who encourage creativity and inspire their teams will be more necessary than ever. Organizations without such leaders will find themselves left in the dust.


Authenticity leads to trust, and trust can permit significant benefits to your organization:

Time is money. Trust is money, the author says, according to an engineer. Trust, he argues, is the building block for everything else. If you trust your employees, you can make major changes with little blowback. You can innovate faster. And you can work with customers, suppliers, and partners more easily.

In order to build trust, the first component of charismatic leadership, authenticity, must be designed.

  • The key message is: trust leads to authenticity, and trust can give your organization major benefits.

You must know yourself well to project authenticity. You have to know precisely what makes you who you are.

Start by spending time reflecting on yourself. To better understand yourself, you can make videos or attempt to take personality tests to check the impression you make. Finally, try asking other people for feedback to help you understand how you come across.

You must also think about your core values and beliefs as part of your personal reflection. Consider all that has led you to the place where your career is. How has your behavior changed, and what have you learned from every critical moment? Your values are what motivates your behavior.

It is time to begin to live them with conviction once you have put forward your values. For example, you need to ensure that respect is the norm around the office if one of your most significant values is compliance. Don’t be afraid to do so – you must be committed to what you believe in to incarnate your authentic self.

It’s not just when the situation gets tough that you have to deal with convictions. Yet, after implementing difficult decisions, far too many managers hide behind closed doors. Instead, make your own decisions. If you have made a mistake, own it – publicly. Even in a full disaster, if you acknowledge your mistakes, your employees will shock you with respect.


Employees prefer to stand by leaders who present personal power:

In business, the word “power” tends to evoke images from ruthless CEOs who don’t care about others as long as they get to what they want in life. But this kind of power, a force in character and a personality that makes people believe and want to follow you, is very different.

You have to demonstrate personal power, the second component of charisma; you need to look strong and powerful. After all, if you go through the office with a brow on your face, hands in your pockets, and a disshelved fitting, it doesn’t look great. Your team takes your clues from your body language and appearance. Instead, smile often – it fosters confidence and confidence. And make sure your treatment is not neglected.

Once you have a strong leader’s look and body language, you can take a leadership approach. It is a matter of proactively solving the problems, taking responsibility for your actions, and thinking I’ll find a way” instead of “I can do nothing.”

Another great part of personal power is this kind of optimism. Unfortunately, in this regard, our brains often work against us. We naturally look for threats that often lead to anxiety and pessimism. We concentrate on them.

Reframing is therefore so important. In a problematic situation, reframing is an efficient way of looking for positive aspects. This means that we have to think about issues as challenges. Say that your meeting with a disappointed client will be uncomfortable but necessary. This situation would be all too easy to fear, as it is a disaster. However, why not refresh it as an opportunity for better understanding the customer’s needs and improving future performance?

In conclusion, personal power always means energy and passion. Energetic and positive bosses strengthen their teams in the same spirit.

Now you can radiate high energy, but your employees must do as well. Try to carry out an energy audit to measure their energy levels. Ask everybody in your office how energetic they feel, from 1 to 10. Follow up with questions as to why you feel like this or what could make you feel energetic. Once done, you can find ways to charge batteries for your team and maintain high motivation.

“Employees love leaders who have a quiet confidence and an aura of self-belief and positivity.”

Kevin Murray

A pleasant emotional signature leaves a good lasting impression:

Agency manager Lois is naturally introverted, so it’s not easy for casual conversation. But she doesn’t allow it to stop her, and she goes into the office every morning at 8:15 a.m. to chat for 45 minutes with her staff. She learned to turn charm and projected warmth into a friendly and anything but aloof, the third part of the charisma.

Next time you’re in the office, look around the room. Choose someone at random and consider how that person makes you feel. Then ask yourself why that’s the case.

Look around the room the next time you’re at the office. Choose someone randomly and see how he or she feels. Ask why this is the case; every person has his separate emotional signature, you will soon realize. You’ll know it after talking to them. It might be good and positive, and you could be glad and rekindled. Or it may be negative snapping your energy and frustrate you. As soon as you have noticed other people’s emotional signatures, ask yourself: how is your emotional signature?

Your staff is at risk of low morale and burnout if disrespectful, outrageous, or critical. But there is no downside to making it even better, even if it’s positive! Follow the example of Lois and get your staff involved. Get interested and know what is important to you and your life. Please ask them personal questions and let them ask in return.

Some tricks will improve your emotional signature even more quickly. Firstly, please always contact people by name – this will make them feel recognized and remembered. Try to request help from people as well – everybody wants to be reminded that managers too are humans, try to ask where the toilet is, or what format the conference will take.

Obviously, if you don’t really take employees and people seriously, no trick will work. You will need to improve your listening skills carefully and make people feel that you address their concerns.

Do your best to keep track of the listing contract when talking to someone. That means you have to hear the person with whom you speak before you can answer and be understood.

It would help if you had a bit of empathy, too. Make an effort to understand the emotional perspective of the other person and, when you do so, verbally acknowledge it with a comment: “I can see that you are upset at what’s happened.”

You can inspire loyalty, commitment, and positive behavior among your staff by cultivating a warm emotional signature.


When driven by a cause, leaders radiate charisma: 

Face it – it can be a fight many times early in the morning to wake up and head to the office. It’s almost certainly true for your personnel if this is true for you. Employees and executives need a reason to get out of bed every day, more than just a wage. To get revived, people need a cause in which they can relentlessly believe and fight. In other words, the fourth part of charismatic leadership needs drive.

Many top executives are very logical, always focusing on the bottom line. But there is a big problem with this in terms of motivation: financial measurement is not very engaging for employees, as useful as it is.

Therefore, there should always be a clearly defined goal as a team and a company, which will motivate everything you do. Articulate this in a short and sweet statement like the TED statement – ‘To spread ideas,’ or ‘Tesla’s, for example, ‘To accelerate the transition to sustainable energy worldwide.’ Tesla’s mission statement.

Drive isn’t what you do – it’s also how you do it. This means that your team is continually improving.

The power to praise is one way of motivating and inspiring staff. Leaders are often stingy with good words, or worse, if things work well, they take full credit. A charismatic leader could hardly make a worse mistake!

Something that Sally has been understanding. Her division of a consulting company faced certain problems, and the number of new customers they bought suddenly had to grow considerably.

Initially, the effort seemed a monument, but Sally visited her team members’ desks every day and asked what they were doing to build new customer meetings. She broadcasts it to the rest of the team every time she hears a good new idea. Besides, good ideas have been integrated into the regular team process immediately. The team focused on improvement with a laser focus.

Amazingly, Sally’s team became the most successful part of the business within 18 months. The icing on the cake? Sally’s staff division was more encouraged and motivated than any other division.

“When Leaders have a cause that inspires them, their restlessness to achieve it becomes tangible by force.”

Kevin Murray

Persuasion encourages your employees to implement strategy:

The world’s most common phóbias are easily public speakers. Some people are more concerned than they are about death!

Public speech is, unfortunately, an essential and inevitable part of most people’s careers. With practice, the good news is that your ability to persuade, the fifth and ultimate element for charismatic leadership, will significantly increase.

You can learn many tricks and tips, such as controlling your breathing, drawing up key points on a note board, and building up a powerful opener if you want to become a better public speaker. But it would help if you were charismatic first of all.

Leaving an emotional impact on your audience using powerful stories is one of the best ways to do that. Your audience must feel linked to you and your speech, and this connection is established with a story that tugs people’s hearts.

So how can you tell the story with the most significant impact? Start with your value connected. Let’s say that boldness is one of your values. Tell a story about a worker who took courageous steps to win a customer or about audacious action leading to a shift in your career.

Conviction now goes far beyond public expression: persuasion is also vital in discussions with your team and customers. Nevertheless, nearly 70% of the United States managers said that communication with their employees was often uncomfortable. More than 50% of UK managers would also do everything possible to avoid a negative dialog with their employees.

It helps you get an overview of the outcome you want to achieve when anticipating a conversation, difficult or not. Would you like to let your team know about changes, developments, or processes? Are you more concerned with resolving a problem, or are you trying to improve an approach that exists?

In this respect, you can guide the conversation precisely wherever you want, without being too pushy. Ask questions to lead the other person to a solution, and they often arrive alone. Even better, it will make them far more committed to the action plan if they feel they have had a say in things.

With the newly revived conviction power, you are on your way to being a truly inspiring leader in combination with the other charisma blocks. You can not only motivate and encourage your employees to do great things, but you can also deliver tangible advantages through increased profits, innovation, and benefits.