Is Elon Musk charismatic

Dear readers,

In 2014, tech giant Microsoft had a big one change: Sadya Nadella became the new CEO of the company and had to follow in the great footsteps of Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates. Since he began serving as CEO, Microsoft's stock has risen many percentage points and the company has posted continued success. If you look at videos of Nadella, for example from keynotes or interviews, this is with different Emotions connected: It affects the audience personable, funny and his anecdotes grab their attention. Under the videos you can often read comments like: “This man is real inspiring. ”Or“ This guy is so cool! ”. Why is that?

The simple answer to this is because he is charismatic is. Nadella doesn't gain his authority through his position, no, he's in that position, because others WANT to have him there. This is the case with all of them charismatic leaders, be it in the positive or in the negative. Another current example of a charismatic leader is Elon Musk, the slightly eccentric CEO of Tesla. Historically, characters are like Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King been charismatic leaders.

All of these people have certain qualities that make up their charisma. But what do we mean by charisma? Historically, the term comes from religious studies and describes special, Gifts “coming from God”that are inherent in and make up a person. In today's sociological sense, we understand charisma as Conglomerate of certain propertiesthat can be assigned to a person and that have the effect that other people get excited about it and perceive it as inspiring. Inspiration is the key here. If we compare the above-mentioned leaders, this is exactly what they all have in common: They inspire people and are therefore able to lead them far away from institutionally given authority. Becomes charisma attributional forgive, i.e. it will ascribed to one person by other people. Only those who are perceived as charismatic by others show truly charismatic qualities.

In the leadership literature we understand this type of leadership as what is called charismatic leadership (Conger, 2011). Conger and Kanungo (1999) differentiate between charismatic and non-charismatic leaders on three levels:

  1. Charismatic leaders always question the status quo and are very sensitive to poorly used opportunities and environmental barriers to achieving excellent results. You will have a keen sense of the needs and abilities of those you are taking.
  2. They have strong communication and articulatory skills and use this to convey a convincing and inspiring vision of the future.
  3. You use innovative and unconventional methodsto achieve their vision and pursue it consistently. In doing so, they set a good example themselves and also accept risks, which has a very impressive effect on those being led.

In science it has been shown empirically that charismatic leadership is strongly positive with the so-called Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) related (Babcock-Roberson & Strickland, 2010). This denotes extra-contractual commitment of the employees in favor of the company, i.e. work and commitment that actually don't have to be done. This proves the inspiring effect of charismatic leaders.

Readers who are familiar with the current leadership models are now becoming the Parallels between charismatic leadership and transformational leadership noticed. Antonakis (2011) aptly named his review article “Transformational and charismatic leadership”. He is here on the fact that Charisma the emotional component of leadership represents. Despite these parallels between the constructs, it can be assumed that both are distinct from one another and can also be viewed independently of one another.

So we come to the conclusion: Charismatic leadership works! The question now arises as to whether you are born a charismatic leader or whether you have this leadership behavior maybe learn too can? A study by Antonakis, Fenley and Liechti (2011) can provide information on this: In an experiment, participants were trained in charismatic behaviors and had to give a speech before and after the training in which they were supposed to communicate an inspiring vision as best as possible. After the training, the participants were rated significantly and, with a greater effect size, more charismatic than before. Even if only the results from one study are named here, we can state that there are indications that charismatic behavior very trainable is.

One can take away from that charismatic leadership not a purely innate phenomenon represents. Although some people have it a little easier from birth, basically everyone can become the next Nadella or Gandhi through practice and self-reflection. To do this, question your external image and the way in which you communicate: Do I have a clear vision? Is this realistic? Can I express this in an inspiring and clear manner? Am I leading by example? And do I also keep an eye on the needs and skills of my employees?

Thank you for your interest and we wish you every success in discovering your own charism.

Nicholas Neis-Forster for the Keller Partner Team