Charisma is the brainchild of Max Weber (1862-1920), who adopted the term from early Christianity in which it meant a ‘gift of grace’. Grace means that you are looked on with favour by God. So, charisma is like a gift from God.
It refers to a trait that sets a person apart from ordinary people. The charismatic person seems to have been endowed with exceptional powers that will enable him to give people what they desperately need and want. So, they see him as a leader and follow him voluntarily.
The charismatic leader takes advantage of the belief in his super-human ability. Followers are expected to give him unconditional personal devotion and absolute trust. However, the charismatic bond will break if the leader fails to offer any demonstration of his power over a prolonged period of time.
Here are 4 criteria for charismatic leadership:
1. Leader Has Superior Powers
Followers believe their leader to possess extraordinary qualities.
2. Belief In Leader's Ideas
Followers believe the ideas of their leader to be unquestionably true simply because he made them
3. Obedience In Action
Followers offer complete obedience to their leader. They give up all judgement and automatically follow orders without hesitation.
4. Emotional Loyalty
The loyalty to the leader is very emotional. It resembles feelings seen in religious worship such as devotion, awe, reverence and blind faith