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I am a M.A. in industrial/organizational psychology. Most of my experience has been in human resources and change management. My passion lies in employee assessment, organizational development and employee opinions. Website: www.IanMondrow.com LinkedIn Profile: http://linkd.in/drBYoC

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Charismatic Leader: Role Model? or Criminal?

For a leader to be successful, it is clear that he/she must be charismatic. He/she must have the ability to communicate and relate with others around him/her. In addition, he/she should be able to unite everyone on one common goal. However, a charismatic leader is not always the most ethical. For instance, Adolf Hitler was a charismatic leader. He was able to motivate a whole nation to do tragic events. How? He was well liked! He related to the public and appealed to their weaknesses (i.e. wealth and success).

The question one must ponder is: can a charismatic leader hurt a company? If so, how can we prevent it. There are several options to consider:

1) Hire leaders that have a strong sense of ethics. This is no easy task. There are assessment tools that can measure ethical behavior but face validity is questionable. Another option is to use behavioral interviews.

2) Encourage a style of transformational leadership. Transformational leadership is a style where leaders unite leaders by encouraging them to fight towards a common goal. Transformational leadership is unique as it emphasizes that the leader's goal should be towards the common good. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi are just a few examples of transformational leadership. Furthermore, organizations can offer professional coaching focusing on transformational leadership.

3) Hire a leader that is passionate towards reaching the organization's goal.

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