What do Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sir Winston Churchill and Steve Jobs have in common?
They were all exceptionally charismatic and inspirational leaders. Exceptionally charismatic leaders have a way with words. They are skilled communicators who eloquently communicate and connect with their audience, followers and team at a deeper, emotional level. They get their audience excited about the hopes, visions and possibilities for the future, as well as the means to get there. These charismatic leaders verbally capture and articulate core hopes and dreams of people fluently and forcefully.
Olivia Fox Cabane, in her book The Charisma Myth, observes that people aren’t born charismatic. They acquire charisma through knowledge and practice. In other words, anyone can master the art and science of leadership charisma and your words are the most powerful tools in your arsenal. Here are 10 things charismatic leaders say all the time you should add to your diction to speak more forcefully and with charisma whether you are leading a giant organization or a small team toward an outcome.
1. Here’s the plan…
A leader leads. Whether you lead from the front or you lead from the back by letting others take the spotlight, you cannot be a good leader if you don’t show people the way forward. People need to know where you are taking them and how you plan to get them there before they can follow.
2. What do you think?
People generally don’t like big changes and decisions, especially when they are dropped suddenly without warning. Charismatic leaders know this and encourage open sharing of views and opinions. When you listen to the views and opinions of others, you empower yourself to make more informed and inclusive decisions. This enhances the quality of your leadership and encourages people to support your decisions even when they don’t fully agree with them.
Charismatic leaders are not afraid to say “no” to anything or anyone that undermines or is inconsistent with the core goals and objectives of the team, community or organization. They say “no” firmly but amicably whenever there is not a good reason to say yes. Saying “no” makes your “yes” even more powerful and meaningful.
4. Here’s the reason why…
Charismatic leaders often explain the reason for taking certain positions and saying “no.” This makes it easier for people to swallow their decisions and follow their directions. People will follow your requests not so much because they agree or enjoy it, but because you provide a good reason for it.
5. I believe in you…
If you want people to trust you, you must be willing to trust them yourself. Charismatic leaders know this and trust their team fully. They make it absolutely clear how much faith they have in their team and how much they depend on them, including their passion, judgment, integrity and creativity. If you can’t trust someone on your team, then that person shouldn’t be on the team.
6. You can count on me…
Charismatic leaders make it known to their team that they themselves will work tirelessly to make core goals and objectives a reality. They keep their doors open to anyone in the team who needs support and they tell them as much. Tell your team they can trust you and have their back always no matter what.
7. We can do this…
Charismatic leaders push their team and followers to improve and be better. They raise the standards to aspire towards and motivate people to keep pressing on and develop themselves. Remind your team nothing moves until they do. Tell them you are all in this together and it’s not over until we WIN!
Charismatic leaders always congratulate their team members when they do well. This boosts morale and fosters hard work. Give your team members a pat on the back for a job well done. Make sure they know you appreciate their efforts. However, don’t coddle anyone too much, especially when they fall short of the standards or don’t live up to their potential.
9. Thank you…
People yearn for appreciation. Expressing gratitude to others is one of the simplest and most powerful ways to show appreciation. Charismatic leaders express gratitude for both opportunities and people they oversee. Don’t be afraid to say thank you to others no matter what their rank or status is. Saying thank you is a secret ingredient of emotional intelligence that will set you apart from mediocre leaders.
10. Let us celebrate!
Charismatic leaders know that all work with no play makes Jack a dull boy. They, therefore, invite members of their team to celebrate not just the big victories, but also the small wins. This bolsters team spirit and oneness in a common course. Organize parties, shows or even award ceremonies to celebrate both professional and personal achievements and milestones. This can be the most rejuvenating experience you can gift your team and followers.
Featured photo credit: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr./Minnesota Historical Society via flickr.com