Too Much Charisma Can Make Leaders Look Less Effective

Conventional wisdom suggests that the most charismatic leaders are also the best leaders.

Research shows that, while at least a moderate level of charisma is important, too much may hinder a leader’s effectiveness. Three studies — involving 800 business leaders globally and around 7,500 of their superiors, peers, and subordinates — suggests that as leaders’ charisma increases, so does their perceived effectiveness, but only up to a point. The researchers also found that highly charismatic leaders were perceived to engage in more strategic behavior and less operational behavior. The findings suggest that leaders should be aware of the potential drawbacks of being highly charismatic.


By: Jasmine Vergauwe, Bart Wille, Joeri Hofmans, Robert B. Kaiser & Filip De Fruyt

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