Charisma vs. Competence Through The Lense of an Historical Leader by jboss236

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Different leadership perspectives on charisma and competence. Specifically, this paper considers two historical leaders-Winston Churchill and Lou Holtz-and discusses their views on the subjects as well as their own leadership styles.

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Charisma vs. Competence Through The Lens Of An Historical And Contemporary Leader
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                            Table of Contents

Introduction……………………………….….……………………………..……………….…....3

History…………………………………………………………………………………………….4

Charisma and Competence Defined……………………………….………………………..….....5

Relation Between Charisma and Competence……….………..…………...…………………......6

Through Historical Lenses…….……………………………..…………….…………………......6

Negative Aspects of Charisma………………………………………………………………...…8

Conclusion………………………………………………..………………………………………8

References………………………………………………………………………………………..10
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     Charisma vs. Competence Through the Lens of a Historical and Contemporary Leader

        The leadership traits of charisma and competence have been closely debated over the

years in order to determine which one is more effective. This paper will attempt to examine the

differences between charisma and competence along with the traits of each according to leaders

who have demonstrated effectiveness in their own field; Winston Churchill and Lou Holtz. These

leaders were chosen because they represent different arenas for examination: military and

politics for Churchill; and sports under Holtz. This paper will first explain the backgrounds of

Churchill and Holtz and why they are considered successful leaders. This paper will define what

charisma and competence are, how they relate to each other, and the processes of developing

each one through the lens of each leader. Finally, we will see why charisma is appealing as well

as the negative aspects attributed it.
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History

          Winston Churchill served in British politics for more than fifty years, including many

political and cabinet positions such as President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary, First

Lord of the Admiralty, Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for

Air, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Prime Minister. He is the only British Prime Minister who

has ever received the Nobel Prize in Literature and only the second person to be made an

Honorary Citizen of the United States. His charisma, delivered through oration, allowed him to

influence people across the world by instilling emotion. His speeches reflected what he believed

were the inner strengths and values of the British people that helped them identify with his

message. Such appealing content included improving the framework for democracy, individual

and state rights, the protection against aggression, and the misuse of state power (Holmes, 2005).

Churchill believed that public speaking was the essence of leadership, regarding the “hypnotic

effects of rhythm” and “the great influence of sound” as major appeals to the human brain

(Holmes, 2005, p. 40).

          Rational analysis of facts was not enough to convince or persuade Churchill, and during

this time period, intellect, coupled with eloquence, was considered the most influential (Holmes,

2005). That is, fundamental skills or knowledge (competence) in conjunction with

communication that instills emotion (charisma).

          Lou Holtz’s vision of leadership has been unquestionably effective since he is the only

coach in NCAA history to lead six different programs to bowl games and the only coach to guide

four different programs to the final top 20 rankings. As a famous coach, author, and motivational

speaker, Holtz attributes his success to “charismatic competence,” defined as building the
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fundamentals of knowledge first and developing a positive attitude (charisma) on which to

develop (Holtz, 2006).

Charisma and Competence Defined

       Charisma, according to Weber as referenced in Judge, Piccolo, & Tosi, (n.d.), is based off

of one’s charm, attractiveness, and communication. Bateman (2009) defines charisma as having

a strong vision, communicating that vision
								
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