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What makes up a charismatic leader, whether in politics, corporate world or social set ups

Updated on January 14, 2015

Kenyan MP Hon. Ababu Namwamba addressing Maseno University students

Just what is leadership?

Leadership is a term that remains pegged on mystery when its meaning is deducted. Mostly, we tend to base our conceptions on certain mythical ideas with regards to the meaning of leadership and who a leader is actually.

Myths about leadership

Most of us think and view leadership as a trait that one is born with. In this context, they fail to acknowledge the fact that it can be nurtured. This is the first mythical argument.

The second mythical belief about leadership is that people believe that it is actually preserved to certain cliques or groups of people, who are considered noble and of high social status. The third mythical argument tied to leadership is that some view it as a virtue that is gifted by God, and therefore built on personal talents rather than human shaping through formal education and mentorships.

Definition: Leadership can be explained as the act of providing directions, harmonizing efforts of the juniors towards the achievement of a common goal. Leadership is all about providing direction and pinpointing the areas of strength to be maintained and weak points to be improved on.

As a leader, one has to understand his or her subjects, motivate them so that they can achieve the goals. One's ability to execute these functions without little qualms can never be dictated by their levels or formal education or genes. This is a depiction that one's family and academic prosperity are never yardsticks for measuring leadership.

Did you know that even a non-graduate can offer reliable leadership so long as he or she is futuristic in terms of analyzing the trends? A friend of man once told me that the best CEO's in the world have backgrounds of average academic education. But because they are devoted to pursue prosperity in their capacities, they are inspired every single day to try something new and emerge on top.

Leadership can be exhibited in different situations depending on the types of tasks that one needs accomplished. There are various types of leadership styles that subconsciously, many have never known.

Leadership styles

Situational leadership style is one that requires a leader to adjust his or her relations with the subjects depending on the prevailing circumstances. It requires understanding of the juniors in terms of what they need: For instance motivation, little push or strictness.

Totalitarian leadership style is arguably a tough one because it is viewed as very dictatorial and lacking consultations. It is where one leader enjoys absolute powers and dictates everything with sheer force.

Other liberal styles of leadership are laissez-faire and democratic which create room for the less powerful individuals to at times decide for themselves over what to do.


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    • japheth ogila profile image

      Japheth Omondi Ogila 3 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya.

      Thank you very much Arnold, I will expound on it. This was just my first step.

    • Fred Arnold profile image

      Fred Arnold 3 years ago from Clearwater, FL

      Hello! You have an interesting idea for a Hub here, but as I got into it, it ended pretty abruptly. I would love for more to be added, if that is at all possible!

      I also wrote a Hub on this topic which pertained to the specific though process that governs a leader. I used examples from the Stanford Prison Experiment, conducted by Philip Zimbardo, to show adverse effects based on situational circumstances. Here it is if you would like to read it!