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Charismatic Leaders Move The Crowd

Updated on September 10, 2016

Have you ever listened to someone speak and lost track of every other thought that previously occupied your mind?

This is a question that I regularly ask myself when trying to determine if I consider a speaker / leader to be highly charismatic:

Charisma is one of the most effective forms of persuasion that a speaker can have at their disposal. Nonetheless, it’s benefits are not limited to verbal communication. You can be a charismatic dancer, performer, athlete and any other form of none verbal communicator that comes to mind.

One of my favorite explanations of charisma was offered up by Umberto Eco:

History is rich with adventurous men, long on charisma, with a highly developed instinct for their own interests, who have pursued personal power – bypassing parliaments and constitutions, distributing favours to their minions, and conflating their own desires with the interests of the community.”

It is hard to argue against the statement that charismatic people have a highly developed instinct for their own interest. Psychologically speaking this is a healthy behavior but in many scenarios self-centered behavior can be socially off-putting. Moreover, when charismatic leaders conflate their own desires with the interests of the community, organizations are aligned and positioned for growth.

What does this mean for your organization?

If you employ charismatic techniques when interacting with your teams – you will be more likely to inspire associates to identify with your vision. This level of buy-in will bring about more passionate performance than incentives alone. In short, I would rather have an associate who shares in our objectives than one who simply profits from them.

Here are 7 charismatic techniques that will help you move the crowd towards greatness:


  • Has been described as a trait which requires leaders to take charge. A trait that forces one to bring ideas and opinions to the forefront. Hence, its association with terms like Commander & Chief.

Personality over Proficiency

  • This trait allows charismatic leaders to rally teams around a vision and inspiring message. Inspired teams tend to outperform competitors. Even competitors who are well compensated.


  • The ability to make adjustments on the fly is one of the few decisions that can quickly turn you into a hero or a heel in the eyes of your team. With that being the case most individuals shy away from being spontaneous in the workplace. By virtue of their nature, charismatic leaders are less risk averse which over time holds the potential for growth and development in unexplored areas.

None Verbal Power

  • We often take for granted the messages we send by virtue of our posture. Charismatic leaders have a natural affinity for powerful none verbal communication. This is exhibited through hand gestures, power poses and a variety of other techniques that tend to captivate audiences. In short, perceived power carries weight in the bid for additional power. Even when only realized in your audience’s subconscious mind.

"Gritty" Mind over Matter

  • Charisma is a double edged sword. On one hand it imbues leaders with the optimism and determination required to weather storms; while on the other hand it can cause leaders to over play their hand. Nonetheless, in most instances the resilient nature of the trait will afford your team more benefit than detriment.


  • The aforementioned resilience of the trait has a tendency to infect a charismatic leader’s associates. Thus, enhancing the vision amongst the team. Leaders with this type of unwavering belief in your organizations goals have the ability to correct the plan during trying times.

Driven to #DoBetter

  • Have you ever met anyone who refused to settle for “good enough"? If so, I would be willing to bet you a penny that they were a fairly charismatic and powerful individual! It is said that perception is reality – well when you truly believe in yourself and have the ability to transfer that energy to your associates… The sky is the limit.

In addition, to the aforementioned traits charismatic leaders move the crowd by avoiding the following conversation killers:

  • Lying
  • Gossip
  • Judging
  • Negativity
  • Complaining
  • Making Excuses
  • Presenting Opinion as Fact

I have attached a video of art imitating life which I believe is one of the best examples of charismatic leadership moving a crowd ever filmed:

In the speech above Al Pacino immediately took command of the situation by demanding the crowd’s attention. The context of his speech focused on his personality opposed to his lack of experience in his current arena. The speech was spontaneous and he showed his power through hand movements, prosody, pitch, volume, timbre and cadence. Moreover, these techniques coupled with his grit & optimism moved the crowd from one opinion to the next.

Which Charismatic Trait Will You Incorporate Today?

See results

If a blind man can masterfully use these techniques in the aforementioned clip -- anyone reading about these techniques can learn how to overcome their own inabilities to better influence their associates and teams in a constructive manner. Apply these techniques and become a more effective & charismatic leader today.


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