There is a huge literature on the idea of the charismatic leader. Some argue that this charismatic nature is born into the person and manifests as they show leadership qualities. Others believe that it can be nurtured.
I want to go for a very different take on this. But first, let’s think about the idea of the leader as performer. In fact, let’s look at the idea that we are all performing in the world each day as we get out of bed. The day is a performance – we are projecting ourselves on the world, having an impact on those around us. So, we have the idea of life and living as a daily performance.
Thus, it can be useful to develop similar skills to those developed by an actor. However, that is not to say that we are trying to mask authenticity and develop a false front for the world. If you sit in a theatre and watch an actor who puts on a false ‘front’, there is no authenticity to the performance. An actor has to learn to get into a part, find an authenticity in it and really convince the audience that they are the person that they are playing.
And this brings me to the point. Yes, in order to create real impact and have presence amongst those we work with or lead, we need to develop a performance. But the performance needs to come from a place within. We need to dig down into ourselves and find our authentic passion. What is it that drives us to do the work that we do? Once we are clear what it is, we can tap into it, find our inner passion and work from a place of authentic conviction. Then we are able to have a massive impact because anyone who talks with passion about something will have a significant impact on others.