Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Peter Jones and Cyril Ramaphosa all clearly have it. You won’t be wrong if you answered money but they also all have a clear competitive business edge over others – they are charismatic.
If you thought that they were born with it, you might be surprised to learn that you are mistaken. Charisma is not genetically transferred. Charisma is built through qualities that can be cultivated in many different ways. You can start by observing and learning from mentors and simulating and implementing certain behaviours in your own life.
Five key characteristics that charismatic people display are likeability, confidence, optimism, good listening skills and generally being comfortable with who they are. These are all qualities that make successful business people, in particular, Maxi’s franchisees, stand out from the rest.
While it is important for entrepreneurs to manage their businesses with confidence and authority, those who rule with an iron first will soon realise that they are not very popular among employees or well liked by customers. Leading by example through equal treatment, being fair and displaying trust in your staff’s ability to do their jobs, will help position you as a likeable and inspirational leader, who creates a positive and productive work environment.
As with any other emotion, confidence can be adopted. In the same way as happiness, sadness or anger, confidence can be cultivated, groomed and triggered to achieve business success. Putting a smile on your face and ‘dressing for success’ is pivotal in building confidence as looking and feeling good contributes to at least 50% of this emotion.
Continuously reading and studying up about advancements in your sector and about competitor activities, will not only help you to cultivate an understanding of your industry but it will help build up your knowledge and ability to speak confidently about your business.
Great leaders are optimistic by nature. They see opportunity where others see problems and anguish. Optimism has been proven to be a powerful tool that will pay dividends for your personal life and give you a competitive advantage professionally in your career. Through open and honest communication, optimistic leaders inspire enthusiasm in their teams, prompt super human efforts and rally staff towards understanding their roles and the bigger picture within the company. Optimists also understand that setbacks do happen but they know how to deal with them by identifying what can be changed or fixed, or what is best left alone.
4. Good listening skills
People will be impressed by how well you speak but even more so by how well you listen. Charismatic leaders are known to have exceptional listening skills and without saying too much, can have engaging conversations that attract people. They understand that by asking open-ended questions that relate to someone, they are not just listening, they are connecting. Don’t be fooled into thinking that being heard is more important than hearing. The first rule in communication is to seek understanding before seeking to be understood. Talk less and listen more.
5. Being comfortable in your own skin
Leaders that are comfortable with who they are, what they have to offer and why they are doing what they’re doing, but they also have a high degree of self awareness, do not take themselves or their achievements too seriously, place high value on integrity and authenticity, and take responsibility for their actions.
The business owners also live their dreams loudly and do not place limitations on what seem practical. They live their lives passionately and don’t do things half-heartedly.
In conclusion, whether you have charisma or have adopted it, people will find you inspiring and will be drawn to you, trust you and will want to learn from you, which is exactly the character traits that make Maxi’s franchisees so successful.