This Article is About
charisma
power of persuasion
art of seduction
magnetic attraction
scoundrel
self worth
magnetism
What Is Charisma? You Are Simply Irresistible.
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What Is Charisma? You Are Simply Irresistible.

Charisma is that certain je ne sais quoi that excites the senses. It's that compelling magnetic attraction that many of our most influential leaders possess.

You're either born with it, or you develop it. Yes, you can learn social skills, communication skills, public speaking skills, the art of seduction and the power of persuasion, all of which will give you an edge and some degree of charisma. But, in order to be truly charismatic, one needs to be authentic.

Wait a minute, is this person for real? Am I being razzle dazzled?

There are too many fakes in our world today, and you and I don't want to be numbered among them. Nor do we want to be duped by them.

What is charisma? It's an endearing and very powerful human quality that makes other people like you. You may be a scoundrel or you may be a saint, or you may be somewhere in between. But, people like you.

Charisma imbues the one who has it with a dynamic magnetism that compels others to follow him.

The charismatic person can charm, inspire, and influence people.

One would hope that great character would accompany charisma, but unfortunately, it doesn't always happen that way.

Charisma stems from a strong sense of self worth. The charismatic person typically, is an individual who is inner directed, independent, and is not reliant on what others think of him or her. Of course, human beings are magnificently complex and wonderfully unique. One size does not fit all. One description of charisma does not fit every charismatic person.

One has only to look at the entertainment industry to find fascinating, totally unique charismatic personalities.

Someone who immediately comes to mind is Marilyn Monroe. On the surface MM appeared vulnerable and even a little common. Although she was full of complexity, there was nothing common about her. Her onscreen persona was enormous. She was the wide-eyed, innocent, quintessential dumb blond with a heart of gold. She was an amazing actress who had touching sensitivity and the ability to make powerful emotional contact with her audience. The genius of Marilyn Monroe was that when she was on screen, you didn't look at anyone else. All eyes were on her. Did she learn that in acting class? I think it's just the phenomenon that was Marilyn. Marilyn Monroe had charisma. She was a super star.

We hear the term "X-factor", used often in reference to performing artists who have that certain something that sets them apart from the competition. The X-factor is charisma. It's star quality. It's the reason people follow Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. Talent/skill, plus charisma and the X-factor equals star quality.

As a matter of fact, charisma even supersedes talent. One artist can be more skillful than another, but the one with charisma will be the stand out and win over the competition. That does not mean they are better. It means they are magnetic.

The unsavory side of charisma can be represented by Adolph Hitler and the mad Russian monk, Rasputin. Both had charisma. Both inspired and compelled people to action, but in the wrong way. They misused their power, bringing down all who followed them. But they had charisma, nonetheless. Power in evil hands is a frightening thing.

How do we know when someone has charisma? We can feel it. We are drawn to it like a bee is to honey.

One would hope that the charismatic person would also have sustainable wisdom. Makes me think about the story in Greek mythology of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus used his seductive musical ability to persuade the deities of Hades to release Eurydice from hell. His charismatic music worked to persuade the gods to bring Eurydice back to life and to allow him to lead her to the upper land. All he had to do was not look back at her. But alas, he looked at her the last minute of their journey. Eurydice disappeared. All was lost. He failed to accomplish his mission.

Some of the popular charismatic people we all know are: Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King Jr., John F Kennedy, Bill Clinton (whether you like him or not), Barack Obama (whether you like him or not), George W Bush (whether you like him or not), Steve Jobs, Lady Gaga, Lee Iacocca, to name only a few. Former Harvard classmates of Mitt Romney describe him as being very charismatic, even as a student.

True charismatic people genuinely like other people. Not easy to fake.

There are ways to accessorize charisma. By that I mean there are ways to add drama to a given dimension of magnetism.

Here's what Steve Jobs did. Jobs was known for his messianic aura. It's been told that he transformed himself from the nerd to the magnetic icon by using theatrical techniques, especially in the manner in which he spoke. He also dressed in an understated theatrical way. He wore all black, pulling white things out of his pocket for its dramatic effect. Perfectly fine. It was his style.

Psychologists define charisma as "emotional contagion." Scientists call it a condition of elevated oxytocin (that's the love hormone).

However you define it, charismatic people have presence. They fill the room with their presence. They connect with others. They are skilled conversationalists. They are effective public speakers. They have poise and grace and are able to "fit in" with all kinds of people. They have the ability to control their emotions, flying off the handle only when they want to make a point. They are good barometers of social conditions and communicate well on an emotional level.

Brian Tracy says everyone has charisma to a degree. He suggests that we often imbue another person with charisma or attractiveness whenever we have positive feelings toward them. He describes charisma as an aura, an invisible light that radiates outward.

Charisma is a beautiful gift and it's a powerful tool that can be used for beneficial purposes. Sadly, it can just as easily be used for destructive ends. Charisma is no guarantee of character. In that sense, we need to be very discerning about people who ask for our consent to lead us.

We are facing an election in the US. Politicians are notoriously "charismatic." It's part and parcel of the trade. So we have to listen carefully to the message of each party and each candidate, and do our best to discern the genuine from the disingenuous. Stay mindful that if the politician is eloquent, he/she has the ability to pull the wool over our eyes. Consequently, we may or may not be hearing the truth. Can we really afford a serious misjudgment? Not this time.

Whatever your political leanings are, listen carefully to both candidate's messages. Then look at the candidates' resumes. Scrutinize everything about them. Don't leave a stone unturned.

We are hiring someone for the most important job in the land. Our choice affects our lives, our children's and our grandchildren's lives. Indeed, it affects the world.

Let's not allow ourselves to be seduced. Remember the Wizard of Oz was really an ordinary, short chubby man behind a big screen.

What is charisma? It's star quality, baby.


Street Talk

I like your balanced argument charisma like most things is a double edged sword. I remember a conversation few years that charismatic people are not all nice and in fact some a famed serial killers! If they weren't charismatic no one would ever good with them. I like that you have kept it balanced Gai

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks Gai. Serial killers and politicians. We must be so perceptive.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Steve37  

Good article...I really liked reading it...

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Thank you Steve.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Star quality! Thanks. Great charisma in your article here.... Good job.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Thanks Cynthia.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

You've got that factor going in all you do. Blessings for every success.

  
  about 7 years ago
  

Awww, thanks Cynthia. You too, I might add.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Love your closing sentence. :)

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Thanks Shawn.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks Joan, I hope the President can turn things around with his charisma!

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Let's hope James. Though I'm praying hard.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

No doubt about it some people have it and some do not...and does good character come with a charasamatic person, only if we could be so lucky.....a con mans best friend charisma....good read Joan

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Thanks Tim. There are many con men around. Business and politics are full of them.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

What an article, Joan! It has it all ... umph, humor, facts, history, interest ... If an article can have charisma this one surely does :)

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Thanks Lewis. I appreciate that. Now it's time to talk about charisma and the visual arts. That'll be next.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Ok, Joan ... you're on! How about we each submit our article on charisma and the visual arts next Saturday (11-10-2012),1 week from today. I'd do it sooner but I'm moving households : /

  
  about 8 years ago
  

I'll do my best to meet the Saturday deadline. At any rate, you're on.

  
  about 8 years ago

Hey Joan, this provides some exceptional insights into the phenomena of charisma. As you say it is our "saving grace," at least that is when it is not our profound curse! Thanks for a remarkable dissertation!

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Two sides of the same coin Jim. I find charisma fascinating. Glad you enjoyed it.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Joan, this is best article I have read in a long time. Stupendous!

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Thanks Ken. Glad you enjoyed it.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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