Charismatic Leader Mgr Margeot

I most certainly would think of Mgr Margeot as a charismatic leader. Whilst watching the acknowledgments made to this great Mauritian and seeing unreeling his works presented to us today by the press and TV through persons of all walks of life who had the chance to have interacted with him I asked myself the question: What the deeds of Mgr Margeot that made him such a great charismatic leader? He may have physically left us; his spirit still dwells.

I searched through my documents on leadership to be able to single out qualities and attributes which I would be able to name and model. I struck John C Maxwell’s article on Leadership which I found fitting. Since Mgr Margeot has achieved all seven attributes named by Maxwell I may safely say that Mgr Margeot was a charismatic leader.

William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli were two of the fiercest political rivals of the 19th century. Their epic battles for control of the British Empire were marked by intense animosity that spilled over from the public arena into their personal lives. Ambitious, powerful, and politically astute, both men were spirited competitors and masterful politicians.

Though each man achieved impressive accomplishments, the quality that separated them as leaders was their approach to people. The difference is best illustrated by the account of a young woman who dined with the men on consecutive nights. When asked about her impression of the rival statesmen, she said, “When I left the dining room after sitting next to Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in England. But after sitting next to Mr. Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest woman in England.”

What distinguished Disraeli from Gladstone was charisma. Disraeli possessed a personal charm sorely lacking in the leadership style of his rival. His personal appeal attracted friends and created favourable impressions among acquaintances. Throughout his career, Disraeli’s charisma gave him an edge over Gladstone.

Of all leadership attributes, charisma is perhaps the least understood. At first glance, charisma appears to be an invisible energy or magnetism. There is no denying its presence, but it’s hard to put a finger on its source. Some mistakenly believe charisma is a birth trait—embedded in certain personalities, but completely absent in others.

I believe charisma is learnable and helps to boost a leader’s influence. John Maxwell in an article examines the causes of charisma and suggests how to increase the charisma you display as a leader.

Charisma is “the ability to inspire enthusiasm, interest, or affection in others by means of personal charm or influence.” Leaders who have this ability share seven things in common:

1. They love life. Leaders who attract a following are passionate about life. They are celebrators, not complainers. They’re characterized by joy and warmth. They’re energetic and radiant in an infectious way. Look no further than the smile to illustrate the power of charisma.

2. They value the potential in people. To become an attractive leader, expect the best from your people. I describe this behaviour as “putting a 10 on everyone’s head.” Leaders see people, not as they are, but as they could be. From this vantage point, they help others to build a bridge from the present to a preferred future.

3. They give hope. People long to improve their future and fortunes. Charismatic leaders connect with people by painting tomorrow brighter than today. To them, the future is full of amazing opportunities and unrealized dreams.

4. They share themselves. Charismatic leaders add value to people by sharing wisdom, resources, and even special occasions. They embrace the power of inclusion, inviting others to join them for learning experiences, brainstorming sessions, or simply a cup of coffee. Such leaders embrace team spirit and value togetherness.

5. They cultivate other-mindedness. For leaders, the greatest satisfaction is found by serving. They find great pleasure celebrating the successes of those around them, and the victory they enjoy the most is a team triumph.

6. They find and use their voice. One expression bandied about by political commentators has been of a candidate “finding a voice.” Seemingly every candidate found his or hers.

7. They use their charisma to boost their influence for good. Charisma compounds a leader’s influence. Without it, leaders have trouble inspiring passion and energizing their teams. With it, leaders draw out the best in their people, give the best of themselves, and find the greatest fulfillment.

Charisma is not manipulative energy or a magical gift given to select personalities, but an attractive blend of learnable qualities.

Source: article written by John C Maxwell published in November 2008


#1 Agni on 07.20.09 at 4:42 pm

Indeed this obsession with the recently developed idea of Leadership is strange.
For sure it is feeding a multi billion dollar industry, selling people the idea that there is a toolbox of traits, skills and whatnots which would make them all into leaders… granted they come and buy it from me of course!

Leaders are born, they are not made!
Fact is some of the most successful business people are entrepreneurs, who are autodidacts.

In this Business of selling the toolbox of Leadership… let’s assume they are right, and Leaders is can be made… what does that say about the Followers then, are they born or made???
Some food for thought! which all Leadership gurus avoid talking about

There have always been Leaders and Followers.
The question is not what make someone a leader, the question is rather what makes people Followers!
What all those Leadership development programs teach you is to understand people’s weaknesses and “personality” disorders in order to be able to subjugate them and become their “leader”.

There is an old saying:
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is King.
One could say… they all follow his “vision”

#2 joseph on 07.21.09 at 11:05 am

If you would ask me whether Charisma may be taught or is it in born? My reply would be: you have asked me an ‘either or’ question.The answer could well be Charisma may well be in born ‘and’ taught. I firmly believe that all humans have all gifts,the quality and intensity of each gift may be different for each individual, it is up to the individual to work and develop his gifts.
By definition for each leader there are a number of followers.The quality of the leader is defined by the capacity of the followers to follow and achieve the action or vision of the leader.In other words good leaders, breed good followers.
If today there is so much obsession of training in leadership skills,it is precisely because good leaders are so scarce and it is not a static state. One has to continuously work to remain in the position of the Leader.

#3 Olivier on 07.21.09 at 11:40 am

Also, being a leader does not exclude being a follower. Either simultaneously or intermittently.

Additionally, a leader is not necessarily a “manager”. In common culture, a ‘leader’ is seen as a ‘manager’ of sorts. A leader can be the one who shares vision, or can be one of influence.

Truth be told, the ‘motivational speaking’ industry seems to be a huge sham fixed upon draining interested parties of their funds. However, this does not preclude that there might be nuggets of wisdom in the writings of some of the players.

#4 Agni on 07.21.09 at 4:56 pm

Charisma is but one sort or aspect of Leadership as being taught.

That was not my point, no.
But let’s take Charisma as an example of a quality of a Leader… which according to you would inspire great things onto his followers.
Charisma is by the way an essential quality of all con men! All of their victims (followers) would tell you that they thought those people had great charisma.
Every con man is very good at getting people to do what he wants them to do, and more importantly without violence or threat perceived by the victims.

I say, if you think Charisma is a great leadership quality you need to have in order to be a good leader… go and learn from a successful con man!

#5 joseph on 07.22.09 at 11:20 pm

Indeed I would like to be successful in my life without having to con anybody. That does not stop me from learning from con man.
As you rightly thought Charisma is but one of the many aspects of leadership to be developed to succeed in life.

#6 Agni on 07.24.09 at 4:16 pm

Joseph I’m very sorry but you’ve totally lost me with your las comment!
Do you really lack any understanding of what leadership is or is your mingling of terms and concepts on the issue of Leadership more deliberate in nature?

Charisma is not an aspect of Leadership, it is a leadership style… one of many.
Success in Life is a very different game all together.
Furthermore “success” of Leadership is not measured by success in life.
It is sad to think of people like you going around selling Leadership to those around you as the means to an end of personal gain!
On the other hand that would clearly explain your fascination with Charismatic leaders (con men!) who’s only real skill is their ability to appeal and stir up emotional reactions from uneducated masses.

That’s a sad measure of success in life indeed!
History is rich of such “leaders” having met a violent end at the hands of their followers. That’s because the emotions of the masses are very feeble and easily manipulated by anybody.
Indeed those close to such followers then always want them to go down in history as “martyrs”, as misunderstood heroes who have been sacrificed for a greater good.
It all sounds very romantic indeed… again to masses which are not required or able to do much thinking and analyse the underlying facts.

#7 joseph on 07.24.09 at 10:20 pm

I quote “It is sad to think of people like you going around selling Leadership to those around you as the means to an end of personal gain!”
I would like you to know that I do not sell leadership around me as a means of personal gain.
Like all skills, leadership skills are double edged tools, they may be used to promote evil or good.
I would discern the intentions behind the deeds.

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