Academic Master

Human Resource And Management

a comparison between charismatic and transformational leadership

Charismatic Leadership

It is based on attributing charisma to the leader’s qualities regarding behaviour and expertise. It is a leadership format that impacts loyalty, enthusiasm and performance.

The history of the charismatic leader is evident in various leadership formats such as Martin Luther King, Pope John Paul II, Bill Gates and Michael Jordan. The style is visionary. It impacts the followers through the leader’s risk-taking decisions, broad vision, dominance, self-confidence and strong beliefs.

Characteristics of the Charismatic Leaders

The following qualities of the charismatic leaders are as follows:

1. Risk takers on their self. They put themselves on the line of self-advocacy for the broader vision and, hence, get acceptance and respect from the followers.

2. Strong self-confidence: They have an unshakeable self-confidence quotient that they deliver to their followers, along with sacrifice.

3. Compelling communication skills: They can deliver complex concepts in clear form to every person, and people feel connected with them.

4. Empowerment: The leader’s main goal resides in the fact that he cannot get to the top alone. Thus, he believes in heightening the self-confidence of others through empowerment.

The leader’s followers will have faith in the leader, have affection for the leader, and establish an emotional connection to the goal achievement as participation in the successful leadership and performance.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership introduces the continuum of innovation and change. The leadership format includes innovation, charisma, and intellect in the command. A transformational leader can incorporate charismatic qualities, but the charismatic leadership style cannot combine the transformational attributes because it brings change in innovation.

Characteristics of Transformational Leaders

1. The leaders transform the organization with risk-taking and vision based on self-intuition.

2. They stimulate the followers to participate and work apart from their self-gain.

3. They individually assess the situation and needs and work accordingly to bring long-term alterations to the organization.

4. They have adopted the behaviour of accepting innovation and casual attitudes of people.

Transformational leaders are proactive and transform the whole organization while resisting external environmental factors. One example of the transformational leader is Jack Welch who changed the bureaucratic GE organization into a learning organization, which turned out to be the best firm in the world.

Both charismatic and transformational formats have similarities, but the only difference is to bring the desired change. Transformational leadership’s goal is to change everything, while charismatic leadership does not focus on bringing about any alteration in the organization.


Lussier RN. Contemporary Perspectives. In: Management Fundamentals. 4th ed. OH, USA: Southwestern Cengage; 2008:323.

Lesson 5: Charismatic and Transformational Leadership Theories – LUJA521. Google Sites. Accessed February 23, 2018.



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