“You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.”
Ronald Regan is one of the world leaders who fascinate me. Today, reading Malor Sturua’s biography about him, I discovered some interesting facts about the man: Regan consistently denied the existence of dinosaurs, because according to the Bible, earth is only 6000 years old. Oddly enough, one night he had a dream about small green aliens attacking Earth! The following morning he called then Russian President Gorbachev- demanding they build a defense system together. He didn’t know names of Chinese leaders… despite all this; he is considered one of the greatest leaders in history. He was able to strengthen his country and people during a period of colossal cataclysms, as the entire socialist countries crumbled like a house of cards.
On the other hand, there is Adolf Hitler. According to research from 1943 produced by Prof. Henry A. Murray, a pre-war Director of the Harvard Psychological Clinic-and published recently by Cornell University, Hitler was a poorly educated bastard, suffering illusions of grandeur, a neurotic paranoid; sexual deviant, drug addict and a virulent anti-Semite to boot. Yet, his public speeches threw his audience into religious ecstasy. By playing into their fears, loneliness and desperation an entire nation blindly followed his vision. His charisma influenced one of the most horrific human tragedies, ultimately culminating in the death of more than 40 million people.
The ability to inspire and lead millions, awaking a blind trust and implanting a leaders own vision - these are not just leadership skills, but skills of charismatic leader. These people always attract followers to enslave. People cannot and do not want to confront the supernatural energy of charisma. They only want to follow. Be it spiritual leaders like Buddha or Jesus, political leaders like Gandhi or Castro, even sinister leaders like Stalin or Hitler, charisma doesn’t depend on moral values or ethics, it’s always and only about the power of inspiring others.
Are there some secrets that we can learn from these leaders to cultivate and develop our own charisma?
1. Be determined and be brave. Define your vision -what do you want to change? Infuse your thoughts to others. Charismatic leaders are never satisfied with status quo and provoke others to think and think on the same wavelength.
2. Become an excellent storyteller. Take a public speaking classes and acting classes. Actors and politicians use the same techniques to convince their audience. Perfect your debating and rhetoric skills. Master the art of making off the cuff remarks.
3. Harness your confidence.
4. Develop a penetrating gaze when you talk to others. Look into their souls not just their eyes.
5. Learn from others! Become attentive when others talk; learn their foundation, vibes, their hopes, fears and concerns- shape your speeches and messages according to your audience. Use their stories to inspire them. People relate when they feel familiarity.
6. Be a GOOD person. Develop genuine concern for others.
7. Use everything you have learned to better your community.
Charles de Gaulle puts it eloquently, "There can be no power without mystery. There must always be a 'something' which others cannot altogether fathom, which puzzles them, stirs them, and rivets their attention.... Nothing more enhances authority than silence. It is the crowning virtue of the strong, the refuge of the weak, the modesty of the proud, the pride of the humble, the prudence of the wise, and the sense of fools." We must find balance within: strengthen your virtues and eliminate your flaws; unlock your charisma.