Is Charisma your Hero?

February is nearing an end.  I pause and look at the beautiful fresh snow in my yard, and think of the perfection in front of me.  No two flakes alike…Is that true of people?  Is that true of Leaders?
Charisma is one of the twelve behaviors of a Rare Leader™.  I look back on the variations of Charisma I have seen in just the past month and yes, – no two leaders are alike.  Here’s one example.
I was introduced to an aspiring rising star recently.  Going into the meeting, my host said, “I think you will really enjoy meeting her, she has unbelievable Charisma”.  My client friend knows of this study of the Rare Leader™ and our current pause at Charisma.  He wanted me to meet someone that he and others  frankly could not get enough of.
She and I had a wonderful first meeting.  It was as my host had predicted, almost as if we knew each other for years.  After  lunch, our host left us to the real reason for her request to see me.  She was seeking me out for some Executive Coaching advice.  As I waded through my quick assessment techniques, she quickly opened up to me.  “Look”, she said “Let me cut to the bottom line – I am about to lose my job and I never saw it coming.  I need to understand what went wrong…what did I do?”
Asking her to describe her background, her career, her passions, her high points and low points, she seemed to focus on knowing the right people, being with the right people, doing the right things with the right people, and had very little to say about putting her craft, skills and experiences to work.  Karen was an example of a rising star who fell in love with her own popularity and in all honesty, stopped working.  She did what came natural.  She used her eyes and her facial expressions to draw people in to an engaging conversation.  Her ability to remember the names of everyone who walked into a room was uncanny.    She made it a priority to be at the right place or event to be around the right people.  For Karen, she did not have to try to develop her Charisma.  My friend was correct.  She had it.
Trusting that her Charisma could make people believe she performed at a high level took Conger and Kanungo’s study of Characteristic Leadership into a new corner of the Leadership snowflake.
What Karen forgot to recognize, is that Charisma also needs to be authentic.  Authenticity is not limited growing Charisma from your heart, but it also means being authentic in what you do at work and at play, in essence your Craft, as well as what you do   with your Character.  Karen had in effect found herself guilty of an abuse of power of her dynamic Charisma.  She had made everyone around her believe she must be this good at work too.  But eventually it did catch up to her, and it cost her a nice career.
Where’s the lesson here?  Rather than focus on what Karen did wrong, let’s focus on the hero of the story.  Charisma is a very powerful behavior.  As Karen found, she could persuade everyone to believe whatever she wished about her job performance…temporarily.  This powerful behavior comes with responsibility.  Next month we will explore Character, and in future months we will look at the remaining nine behaviors  including Planning, Achievement, and Decisiveness.  The Rare Leader™ uses all of the twelve behaviors in a positive way, for the collective good of their Team, their organization, and themselves.  Charisma becomes a powerful and important tool in the Rare Leader™ tool box when Leading others in their Vision, making decisions, setting goals, and achieving success.
Next week we move on in our journey to study Character.  Number 3 in our detailed look into the 12 behaviors of the Rare Leader™.  But, while your waiting, try out this weeks questions.
  1. How can you make Charisma a “hero” in your career?
  2. How do you remain engaged in both Character and Craft as you grow your career?
If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 
or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 
Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.

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