Everyone is capable of developing charisma, because it stems from skills you can practise and apply. 
Charisma is not gifted to a special few – it lies within all of us, and all we have to do is understand and learn the skills that others will see as inspiring.
The skills of charisma will not only make you more inspiring, but you will also be more trustworthy, more magnetic, charming and influential. If you want to inspire your team to performance levels not even they thought they were capable of, the skills of charisma are pivotal to your success. All of these skills are soft skills, and soft skills are in short supply in business, yet easy to learn.
A small improvement in these charismatic soft skills of managers would make a huge difference to people’s engagement, motivation and efficiency. 
Be affective to be effective.
Of course, you need other skills too: technical skills, marketing skills or strategic planning skills. But the truth is, the managers who do best, and progress the most, are those who develop their soft skills. Yet too few companies invest anywhere near enough in this sort of skills training. So, the hard truth is that it’s up to you to find ways to get better. 
Charismatic leaders create extraordinary teams and achieve extraordinary results. For this, you need ‘affective charisma’, in order to have a great effect. (Affective describes something that has been influenced by emotions or is a result of emotion. Effective describes something that produces a desired result.) 
It doesn’t matter whether you lead a small team, a big department, a huge division or even a giant company. Affective charisma is about getting members of your team to go way beyond what they have to do, because they want to, because they care, and because they believe they personally can make a difference. ‘Affective charisma’ is emotional, and positively influences the emotions of others. The result of affective charisma is to have a better ‘effect’ on performance. 
Types of charismatic leaders.
There are charismatic leaders who are high on charm and can make us feel as if we are the most important people in their lives, and that they love our ideas and views. They listen well, they charm us and engage with us, they respect us and appreciate us. They find ways to include us and make us feel we belong. They index highly for affective presence and warmth. 
There are others whose charisma comes from being passionate about a particular cause, and we are swept up and amazed by their passion and their drive. They have a clear vision, and they show us how we can help, and how our strengths can help them achieve the impossible. Their charisma comes from their cause, and the unwavering passion they have to achieve it. They are driven.
Other leaders attract us by being hugely transparent, articulate and compelling about the values that drive their behaviours, searingly honest about how they see the world, and themselves. They ooze integrity. They are committed. They encourage trust and trusting teams, and they attract us because they are so authentic. 
Still others can be compelling communicators, who dazzle us with their articulate views. They have a way of connecting with us and relating to us in terms we understand. They focus on issues we are concerned about. 
They tell thought-provoking stories that move us to action. They index highly for persuasiveness. 
And, finally, there are those who command a room simply by standing in it. Their very presence attracts our attention, because of the way they hold themselves, the way they dress, or the powerful and assertive body language they use. They are always positive, they are optimistic and give us hope, and their energy is contagious. You would give them high marks for personal power. 
What’s the shape of your charisma?
These are the five traits of charismatic leaders – authenticity, personal power, warmth, drive and persuasiveness. Each of these traits requires a set of skills to be able to deliver them consistently and well.
For example, authentic leaders have integrity, and practice it daily in the close quarter combat of business. They are clear about their values, and so is everyone around them. Managers with personal power have a great presence, and they practice positivity and are consistently energetic. Warm managers are great listeners, persuasive leaders are excellent conversationalists and storytellers, and driven leaders unite people around a compelling cause.
These are just some of the skills I have identified and explained in my new book, “Charismatic Leadership”, out on February 3.
In this book you will be able to test your own charisma and identify the shape of your charisma, and what you need to do to improve it and become more effective.
I have had literally thousands of people taking an interest in my views on charisma, so I can’t wait for publication day to give them more of what they are asking for. More details here: