What if we put charismatic leadership versus transformational leadership?
These two leadership styles actually have a lot in common. Both of them rely on influence and friendship. The leaders in both of these styles have a penchant for involving individuals in the organization for the purpose of achieving organizational goals. Both of these styles of leadership have the aim of achieving the vision and goals of the organization.
The charismatic leader tends to rely on his popularity. One of the usual manifestations of this is in the political realm. Do you ever remember Arnold Schwarzenegger? He is an amazing bodybuilder from Austria who became a popular action movie star. He made a lot of popular films including The Terminator trilogy and Total Recall among others. He became extremely popular. That is why when he ran as Governor of the state of California, he won by an overwhelming majority.
But then, charismatic leadership is not enough. The leader should display the characteristics of a good leader. This includes connecting with the followers and learning about their needs and their concerns. When the leader learns about these needs and concerns, he has to do something to tend to them.
Charismatic leadership, to a certain degree, relies on an extrovert leader. He or she can easily relate to people and even connect with them at a deeper level. Introverts, though, can also become charismatic leaders, especially, if they are beloved by their followers. They often keep with them a set of trusted followers who act as liaisons. This way, they also build their reputation.
But this kind of leadership can be easily abused. What if somebody popular comes along and takes the organization away from its vision and mission?
The result would be confusion and conflict in the organization. While conflict may sometimes be good in the organization, divisive conflicts may be the most painful ones to go through because the end result is not creativity but division.
This is where transformational leadership comes in. In this case, a person using this style has to influence his followers and subordinates to make important changes in their practices and in their lives. The end result is better life for the followers and better health for the organization.
We should not be putting charismatic leadership vs transformational leadership because these two styles actually complement each other. The leader has to choose how to balance these two styles of leadership in the workplace.