Do you inspire your employees and make them feel good? Are you self-aware and sincere? Do you frequently set goals, and are you able to persuade your team to achieve them?

You probably answered positively to most or all of these questions. But here’s the real question – would your subordinates agree with your answers?

The truth is, employees consistently rate their bosses far lower on all facets of charisma than bosses rate themselves.

You’ve probably met a person who oozed of charisma. The almost-indescribable characteristic is something we associate with other leaders, while we consider some people simply lacking it. More often than not, charismatic leaders are considered powerful orators with a clear vision.

An article in the Harvard Business Review (Jan-Feb 2018 Issue 96) states,

“Conventional wisdom suggests that the most charismatic leaders are also the best leaders. Charismatic leaders have, for instance, the ability to inspire others towards higher levels of performance and to instil deep levels of commitment, trust, and satisfaction. As a result, they are generally perceived by their subordinates to be more effective, compared with less charismatic leaders. But our research shows that while having at least a moderate level of charisma is important, having too much may hinder a leader’s effectiveness.”

But why is the boss’s charisma so important? Well, to put it simply, people need to be inspired by their boss. Charismatic leaders have five traits in common – a habitual pattern of behaviour, thought or emotion that is backed up by specific skills, leading to observable behaviours. Let us now look at the qualities and characteristics a charismatic leader possesses that make it so easy to follow and support them.

Engage with followers and make them feel valued members of the team
To do this they need to develop the skills that will give them warmth, and a more affective presence. Leaders with warmth have the skills to bring out the best in others by making people feel great about themselves.

A charismatic leader understands that he has certain qualities that make him different from others, and that these are the qualities that get him attention and make him charismatic. So he also knows how important it is to continually improve himself.

One of charismatic leaders’ most defining traits is oral communication. Charismatic leaders are gifted communicators. Their words are seasoned with grace, their message carefully tailored to the audience, and their selection of examples reflect a surgeon’s precision.

Compassion is a characteristic that embodies all leadership styles but can be strongly found within a charismatic leadership style. Charismatic leaders are compassionate, able to have an awareness of others, a mindset of wishing the best for others and the courage to take action.

Charisma without substance is usually a recipe for failure. Flash works for a while, but eventually people want something substantive. The words of a charismatic leader must match his actions. His thoughts must linger in people’s minds for a lasting impact. Although charisma can open doors, substance allows leaders to close sales. A charismatic entrepreneur might get a hearing from a large customer on his charm and persuasive skills, but if his company’s products are not cost-competitive and of high quality, he will have trouble getting repeat business.

Many people think that charisma is something you’re born with or something that only very special individuals possess. But on the contrary – it’s possible to improve charisma. By cultivating authenticity, personal power, warmth, drive, and persuasion, you’ll have a host of new ways to inspire and motivate your employees.