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Charisma-What’s that?

What exactly is charisma?  We often hear about “charismatic leaders” and people who have “charisma.”

The wordsmith in me simply loves the origin of the word.   Charisma comes from the Greek word, Kharisma, meaning, “gift”.  Wow!   But wait!   It gets even better!  A person who is said to have charisma is seen as having personal charm and magnetism.

Charisma was first used in the scholarly sense by German sociologist Max Weber.    Weber’s definition of charisma is:

“…a certain quality of an individual personality, by virtue of which one is “set apart” from ordinary people and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities.  These, as such, are not accessible to the ordinary person, but are regarded as divine in origin or as exemplary and, on the basis of them, the individual concerned is treated as a leader.”

Sounds pretty interesting, right?!

In a blog later this week we will look at charismatic leadership traits.

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Judy W Bell

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