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The value of charismatic leadership stays despite the fame of soft leadership
Date : 2014-09-30

The value of charismatic leadership stays despite the fame of soft leadership

Hyeonman Shin(CEO)
Careercare Newsletter(September, 2014)




Recent years in the media and publications, the importance of soft leadership has been mentioned often times. The advocates for soft leadership argue that leaders are to treat their employees nicely and warmly; while charismatic leaders seemingly may look cool and bring immediate outcomes, in fact, they lack communications skills and are products of the old militaristic mindset.

That said, there are some CEOs who want to change their leadership style. However, as the leadership is made from one’s experiences and practices, it is hard to change once it is set. Moreover, even if one succeeds in changing his or her leadership style, making achievements out of it is a different story. Is it fair to say that charismatic leaders are outdated relics from olden days who cannot bring any long-term development?

Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, Andrew Grove, Jeff Bezos, Nagamori Shigenobu, Jung Ju-Young, and Park Tae-Joon are/were among the greatest CEOs of our times, often described as 'charismatic leaders' with tough, stubborn and straightforward characteristics. And yet, despite negative traits, they have been always followed by many talented people because they are/were attractive leaders.

First, they are perfectionists. Their high standards and goals do not allow any mistakes. Their attitudes pursuing perfection appear to be rather paranoia but their masterpieces have ruled the markets with volatility.

Second, they are tenacious. Their utmost persistency does not tolerate any abandonment. They do not ask for any lucky chances as they are confident enough to believe in ‘as you sow, so shall you reap’. This self-belief has helped them stick to their guns even with change of situations.

Third, they are focused. They know what to give up on in order to focus on the most important thing. No matter how strong one’s organization is with an excellent pool of talents and resources, without concentration it’s almost unavoidable to hit the limit in the supplies of resources. So it is only a matter of time for them to get the best result out of it as they put all of their competency and energy into one basket.

And lastly, they have a high self-esteem. The only measurement for their efforts and outcomes is their own philosophy. They have been often characterized as ‘stubborn’ and ‘inflexible’ with their ‘no compromise’ policy and a set of rules and principles. They have even blown away some good opportunities to make a fortune if against their way. Throughout this process, however, they’ve established a brand image of their own that has created loyal mania consumer groups.

As of late, the weight of soft and warm leadership has been emphasized by many business experts and scholars. In principle, however, the leadership style should be applied differently depending on what and who you’re dealing with. In that sense, soft leadership must have its place somewhere.

Nevertheless, it looks like the charismatic leadership will prevail for some time now. The bosses who can make visible accomplishments are the charismatic ones with clear visions and strong driving forces. There are, of course, successful leaders with soft and warm leadership. Yet, it rarely happens unless all the elements of success such as good organizational systems, competent employees, clear visions, and autonomous culture are put in the right place and time.

There is no such a thing as a perfect leadership style. Leadership, by definition, is a competency and also strategy to get the spontaneous participation and involvement of the individuals. Depending on what you want to achieve and who you wish to accomplish with, the way to get that response should be different. That is why veteran leaders constantly contemplate on many things including what their visions are, who they work with, and what kind of optimal leadership needs to be implemented.



CAREERCARE
Careercare is the largest recruiting and executive search firm in the Korean market for the last 15 years. It is time for us to make a new leap forward. With our three core values, ‘Respect People’, ‘Differentiate the Differences’, and ‘Social Responsibility’, we are giving more efforts to achieve the vision of ‘Advance through Talent’.

 

 

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