Charismatic leadership is a leadership style in which a leader uses their personality and charm to inspire and motivate followers.


Charismatic leaders are often seen as confident, visionary, and inspiring, with the ability to articulate their vision and communicate it effectively to others. They are skilled communicators and are able to create a sense of excitement and enthusiasm among their followers, often leading to increased motivation and commitment to the organization or cause. Charismatic leaders are also known for their ability to build strong relationships with their followers, often leading to high levels of loyalty and trust.
Examples of charismatic leaders along with a brief description of their leadership style:
  • Martin Luther King Jr. - King was a civil rights activist who advocated for nonviolent resistance against racial segregation and discrimination in the United States. His charismatic leadership style was characterized by his ability to inspire and motivate people through his powerful speeches and his unwavering commitment to justice and equality.  Martin Luther King, Jr. | Biography, Speeches, Facts, & Assassination | Britannica

  • Winston Churchill - Churchill was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War II. His charismatic leadership style was characterized by his strong and decisive leadership, his powerful oratory skills, and his ability to rally the British people during one of the darkest periods in the country's history.   Winston Churchill | Biography, World War II, Quotes, Books, & Facts | Britannica

  • John F. Kennedy - Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States and is known for his charismatic leadership style. He was a skilled public speaker who inspired a generation with his vision of a better America. He was able to connect with people on a personal level and had a strong ability to empathize with their struggles and aspirations.  John F. Kennedy | Biography, Siblings, Party, Assassination, & Facts | Britannica

  • Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was known for her charismatic leadership style. She possessed a strong personality, an unwavering conviction in her beliefs, and a clear sense of purpose, which helped her to inspire and motivate her followers. Thatcher's leadership was marked by her exceptional communication skills, her ability to articulate a clear vision, and her willingness to take bold and decisive actions. She was also known for her resilience in the face of adversity, as well as her ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Despite controversy surrounding some of her policies, Thatcher's charismatic leadership style helped her to leave a lasting impact on British politics and society.   Margaret Thatcher | Biography & Facts | Britannica

Note Charismatic Leadership can be evil and dangerous.
Adolf Hitler - Hitler's leadership style was highly destructive and serves as an example of the potential dangers of charismatic leadership. He was able to inspire and mobilize millions of Germans with his message of nationalism and anti-Semitism, leading to one of the most devastating wars in history and the Holocaust.       Adolf Hitler | Biography, Rise to Power, & Facts | Britannica


  • NOV 2022 Charismatic Leadership: Weighing the Pros and Cons - PON - Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School
  • Main Points:
    • Charismatic leadership can inspire and motivate followers to achieve great things.
    • Charismatic leaders can also be manipulative and be self-serving, leading to negative outcomes for their followers and organizations.
    • Charismatic leadership is most effective when it is tempered by other leadership styles, such as transformational or servant leadership.
  • ARTICLE: AUG 2019 The Art of Charm: The Charismatic Leadership Theory | Alvernia Online
  • Main Points:
    • Charismatic leadership theory is a leadership style that relies on the personality of the leader, who uses their personality and communication style to gain admiration from followers.
    • Charismatic leaders are capable of responding intelligently to social cues and can empower their followers through a unique bond or trust.
    • Charismatic authority can yield positive results, but it also has some unexpected consequences, such as leaders employing their charm for manipulative purposes.
  • ARTICLE: DEC 2017: Charismatic Leadership: A Study on Delivery Styles, Mood, and Performance (
  • Main Points:
    • Charismatic leadership is one of many leadership styles often practised by top management and has a positive impact on subordinates and the whole organization.
    • The study examines the relationship between charismatic leadership and employee performance in terms of delivery styles and mood.
    • Charismatic leadership has a positive effect on employee performance and is positively related to employee mood.
    • Delivery styles have a significant impact on employee mood.
  • ARTICLE: NOV 2014  What is Charismatic Leadership? Leading Through Conviction (
  • Main Points:
    • Charismatic leadership relies on the charm and persuasiveness of the leader. Charismatic leaders are driven by their convictions and commitment to their cause.
    • Charismatic leaders are essentially very skilled communicators, individuals who are both verbally eloquent, but also able to communicate to followers on a deep, emotional level.
    • Charismatic leaders are often identified in times of crisis and exhibit exceptional devotion to and expertise in their fields.