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Can Leaders Have Too Much Charisma?

Can you reliably measure a leader’s charisma, and if you can, can you reliably say how much is too much? This study pokes at both those questions:

The double-edged sword of leader charisma: Understanding the curvilinear relationship between charismatic personality and leader effectiveness,” J. Vergauwe, B. Wille, J. Hofmans, R.B. Kaiser, and F. De Fruyt, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, epub 2019.

The authors, at Ghent University, Belgium. University of Antwerp, Belgium. Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium., and Kaiser Leadership Solutions, USA, explain:

“This study advanced knowledge on charisma by (a) introducing a new personality-based model to conceptualize and assess charisma and by (b) investigating curvilinear relationships between charismatic personality and leader effectiveness. Moreover, we delved deeper into this curvilinear association by (c) examining moderation by the leader’s level of adjustment and by (d) testing a process model through which the effects of charismatic personality on effectiveness are explained with a consideration of specific leader behaviors…. In sum, this work provides insight into the dispositional nature of charisma and uncovers the processes through which and conditions under which leader charisma translates into (in)effectiveness.”

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