Charismatic Leader – A lecture by Sam Potolicchio

When I recollect my notes, I found this really interesting note from leadership lecture by Sam Potolicchio as part of my YSEALI PFP program in Washington DC. Sam Potolicchio is Director of Global and Custom Education at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and named as one of “America’s Best Professors” by Princeton Review, the only one in his field and the Future Leader of American Higher Education by the Association of Colleges and Universities. Really love his lecture and I think it would be useful to share it. It’s really interesting because he bring out the samples from politic areas and try to construct a conclusion on what make a political leader really stand out and different.

So, what’s charismatic leader? Sam informally defines it as leader with strong contrast. Contrast is something that would make you unique and hence recognizable by society. In addition, strong contrast would need to be accompanied with 2 hygiene factors: competence over their respective field (strength) and trust from people (warmth). These 3 (contrast, competence, and trust) are traits, that not only differentiate, but also make a leader really stand out over the others.

So, what do we need to create those 3? Sam share some tips:
1. Ability to attend / observe. A leader needs to be able to attend / observe many things around them (country, colleagues, sub-ordinate, society, and even follower/fans) because they need to make a stand point /decision in their daily lives. Don’t drag too much in unimportant task, because human is not a good multi-tasking organism.
2. Attentive to subliminal signal / body language
3. Ability to create Halo effect. Halo effect is something that makes you trust and create feeling of similarity with other person. This one is really apparent in political figures, and it could be built and practiced from the way you use language (verbal and non-verbal).
4. Be flowsome could make you awesome. Means, what would make a leader awesome is the way they could handle the flows of where things are going.
5. Handle unexpected conditions well.

Hope it’s useful for you, aspiring leaders!


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