August 8, 2014

Charisma, MORE Than Skin Deep

Charisma is something that can make or break a career or life.

If you have it, people often flock to you--that means connections, networking, relationships, and support. 

If you don't have it, then kiss your effectiveness and associates goodbye. 

According to Elizabeth Holmes in the Wall Street Journal, charisma is about how you look, talk, prep, smile, and get feedback. 

At work, for example, Holmes focuses quite a bit on superficial outwardly things like "Look polished, wrinkle-free," "Make eye contact," "Master grace under fire," and more.

And while these are important, they are really also the more superficial of what you can do in term of primarily how you look and comport yourself on the surface. 

Holmes does point more substantive things you can do, like ask for honest feedback, so presumably you can improve yourself. 

But improvements in the skin deep is nice, but not the essence of charisma.

Yes, no one appreciates someone who comes into the room disheveled, smelly, and like a proverbial turd. 

But more important than how one looks, talks and carry's themselves outwardly is how they actually behave. 

Looks are superficial, and word are cheap, but what a person actually does shows what they are really all about as a human being. 

Yes, do you need to build confidence by being put together, of course you do.

But to really build respect, trust, influence, inspire, and lead, you need to be a mensch--a decent human being, grounded in virtuous beliefs, who shows they will do the right thing and act at all times with a core integrity.

Charisma means we genuinely care and help others--not that we focus on promoting ourselves by walking around as the high and mighty

In the end, your charisma, charm, gravitas, presence and effectiveness as a leader is much more about what you do then what you simply look like or spout out. 

Be genuinely kind, caring, and giving, and that is a presence that can be sincerely felt and not just ogled over. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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