Demands on Political Leadership – Beware charisma.
Charisma is “hot” today. There is an enormous amount of talk about it, and an enormous number of books are written on the charismatic leader. But, the desire for charisma is a political death wish. No century has seen more leaders with more charisma than the twentieth century, and never have political leaders done greater damage than the four giant leaders of the twentieth century: Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, and Mao. What matters is not charisma. What matters is whether the leader leads in the right direction or misleads. The constructive achievement of the twentieth century were the work of completely uncharismatic people. The two military men who guided the allies to victory in World War II were Dwight Eisenhower and George Marshall. Both were highly disciplined, highly competent, and deadly dull.
Perhaps the greatest cause for hope, for optimism is that to the new majority, the knowledge workers, the old politics make no sense at all. But proven competence does.
ACTION POINT: Seek out the most competent people in your organization, not necessarily those with the most charisma.
~ Peter F. Drucker, The Daily Drucker