What does it take to be a charismatic leader?

Some people says, that you are either born being charismatic or you live as an insignificant piece of the society. Some others say that being charismatic can be learned. But first of all: what does charisma mean? As per the Cambridge Dictionary, charisma is

a special power that some people have naturally that makes them able to influence other people and attract their attention and admiration.

This definition strengthens the previous assumption, that charisma is something that one is supposed to be born with. Before you would close this blog, let’s look into the skills that one should acquire in order to become a charismatic leader.



  • Charismatic people are – or at least appear to be – confident: there are people who can smell from the distance how others feel in their own skin. What would they smell being around you? Do you really like who you are? Are you proud of yourself without being egoist and arrogant? Building your own confidence includes taking good care of yourself (working out, dressing properly, not neglecting your health etc.) and also having a mission that motivates you. Living a purposeless life visibly changes your everyday actions, and faltering can be noticed by others. 
  • The glass is always half full for them – they are optimistic about their future, they concentrate on the best in every person, situations and events and they usually remain cheerful. They are capable of encouraging others to see the things the way they do, thus they can enthuse others to feel more optimistic as well. 
  • They know how to listen and get people to talk about themselves – they are paying full attention to the person who is talking to them. They ask open questions, curious about the other person’s story, feelings and opinions and empathetic. They remember details from previous conversations thus gain respect and trust. They know that a good eye contact sometimes can communicate better than any words. 
  • They are masters of conversations and great storytellers – they know that most people remember personal stories from a speech. They use rethorical questions ensuring to make their visions the visions of their listeners. They are assertive, use humor as a tool including self-deprecating but they never put themselves down. They are always well informed, have a reounded general knowledge and speak with conviction (they use words like “I am sure” vs. “I think”). They are intelligent and beside being expert in small talks they can explain complex topics with ease and use words people can relate to: they talk to people’s gut, not just to their brains. They talk about their potentials that more likely capture people’s attention than what they’ve already achieved. 
  • They use body language to emphasize and enhance how they feel or what they are talking about. At the same time they know how to control their emotions and look calm and serene on the surface while a lot of hidden activity goes on in the inside. They know that smiling makes them look more likable and approachable. They are conscious about their facial expressions and aware of their mannerisms, like they keep their torso and hands open instead of fiddling with something in their pockets. 
  • They mirror the person they are talking to – not just their body language but also the qualities they find likable in others. This behavior can help them to do better in negotaions as well. 
  • They know how to be present – they show the other person that they have their full attentio and they truly engaged with others. They make other people feel important and good about themselves.