Leadership training has and always will be a significant part of organizational development. Unfortunately, organizations are not becoming more effective with the onslaught of new leadership models, because many, if not most, fail to consider the model that best fits the personality of the manager. There may be consensus among researchers about what components should go into a leadership program, but very little feedback on dissecting the manager's personality and the leadership model best suited for that personality. Amisano (n.d.) asserted that an effective leadership program should have these components in the curriculum:
Effective Communication-Learning the essential parts of effective communicating, includes: active listening, paraphrasing, and motivation.
Influencing People-Enlisting positive reinforcement and persuasive techniques that inspire employees toward contributing to the mission of the organization.
Management-Outlining and implementing how each person fits into the structure of the organization.
Build Trust-Being reliable by leading with openness and competence.
Delegate-Sharing tasks and responsibilities that affect the long term benefits of the organization.
Although Amisano outlined the essentials for a general leadership development training program, charismatic personalities may require extensive self-study supported by the disciplines within the Humanities. The psychodynamics of historical figures from Napoleon Bonaparte to Bill Clinton suggest that charismatic leaders have a preternatural curiosity about human nature and leadership training for aspiring charismatic leaders should focus on subjects within Liberal Arts (Literature, philosophy, history, social sciences, etc...). These leaders are shaped and formed by their heroic deeds and need to connect with historical figures that embody their aspirations. Specialized training for aspiring charismatic leaders should entail the following components.
1. Charismatic leaders are case study driven. The missionary zeal that charismatic leaders possess necessitates training that point to epic heroes and triumphs in history. Reportedly, Alexander the Great was influenced by the hero in Homer's "Iliad." Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte were believed to have been influenced by Alexander the Great. Training for aspiring charismatic leaders should tap into their vivid imaginations and great ambitions. Such leaders do not merely want to excel within an organization; they want to transform the industry.
2. Charismatic leaders have advanced oratorical skills. Amisano spoke about the need for effective communication skills that involved active listening, paraphrasing and motivation. However, these leaders use advanced oratorical skills, not only to arouse emotions within audiences, but to transform initiatives through direct action by employees. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. might have listened to his Civil Rights cohorts behind closed doors, but his tool for transformation came from his oratorical skills at the podium. Charismatic leaders are well versed at creating imagery that inspires and encourages audiences to achieve a mission. Leadership training for aspiring charismatic leaders should focus on persuasive speaking. The ability to speak with passion, clarity, and specificity are the powers that these leaders possess that make them iconic.
3. Charismatic leaders are known for being visionaries. Actually, charismatic leaders are excellent at dissecting and deciphering inefficiencies within an organization. The visionary traits attributed to these leaders are often a result of compiling facts, critical thinking, and finding solutions to various problems. The late Steve Jobs of Apple is an excellent example of a leader who had the ability to discover inefficiencies within the marketplace. By looking at the marketplace and the emerging needs of consumers, Apple's invention of I-Tunes transformed the music industry into marketing and selling music online differently. Leadership training for aspiring charismatic leaders should include problem solving exercises that enhance their critical thinking skills.
Like any leadership development program, curriculum should be created that invigorates and motivates aspiring charismatic leaders to flourish where they exhibit the greatest strengths. By developing leadership training that addresses the visceral aspects of an individual, more leaders will emerge, generally, and more charismatic leaders, specifically.
Amisano, C. (n.d.). Components of leadership training.eHow (Money). Retrieved from: http://www.ehow.com/list_6054344_components-leadership-training.html
Edward Brown, M.S., is a researcher and lead instructor for Core Edge Image & Charisma Institute, Inc., which teaches clients how to profit and lead their industry by developing charisma. He is the author of nine books including: Image, Power & Charisma, Power Moves for Those with Limited Cash, Clout & Connections, and Principles of Charismatic Leadership: The Missing Link....
Brown is the host for the online talk show Charisma Live and Editor of the blog, Charisma Today. He has advanced legal training from the University of Dayton School of Law and a master's degree from Mercer University in Leadership Development.