Here we go again with rule number 2 of the Tom Peters list of leadership rules.
2. But then again, there are times when this cult-of-personality stuff actually works!
It took me a while to get what Peters was saying with this one. Essentially there are charismatic leaders that people eagerly want to follow. Yes this is the case yes this is a leadership model that works. And there are many excellent leaders who on a scale of 1-10 with ten being the most charismatic rate a -4. Charisma is great if you have it and overcomeable if you do not. As a leader we need to be in tune with who we are, what we are about, where we are headed and how we are going to get there. We have to love the people around us, trust them to help get us there and encourage them to take the risks that will achieve the results we seek. This is by no means an easy process. Actually it can be remarkably difficult.
On the charisma thing if you want to work on this and be perceived as someone with it you might want to develop a proxy. I do not happen to believe that charisma is a particularly learnable thing but there are other behaviors that can be used in its place. If you develop your story telling ability along with putting your inner passion to words people will be drawn to you. This may not be charisma but it is close.
Challenge: Go to your local bookstore or children’s centered nonprofit and read for the kids. Ham it up. Learn to enunciate, learn to vary your tone, your delivery, change your body language. Don’t scare the kids though ;-) The cool thing is that doing so will build your confidence provide instant feedback (kids are great at this) and in the end teach you how to be more animated in your speaking.