It seems like a prophecy what I have written in November 2011 when Marion Monti was entrusted with the leadership of struggeling Italy. As we see charismatic leaders on the rise again everywhere, regardless of their ideological direction, I want to re-post it here, because it is important:

Currently we see political interim-parties of “experts” take over the reins in various European countries. It seems like th dawning of a new “Age of Enlightment”. Frustrated by the mis-management and corruption of the political leaders there seems to be no way other way out of calamity than putting expertise-focussed people at the top.

But emotion-void action is not the dominant way of expression of the “conditio humana” and frustration-induced messages are not the ones to inspire people to give their best and fight for a common goal – by the way “WHICH COMMON GOAL?” To reduce states’ debt? This cannot be a common goal as most people would not see the pile of debt as their “merit”. So why would they join forces now to reduce it?

You see what I want to get at? IF somebody would be stepping up with a strong message of how to change all this mess into a real opportunity – people would follow him or her.

Look at examples of the past: be it Moses or Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, be it also Hitler, Bertha von Suttner, Aung San Suu Kyi,… The list is long and the real essence of all these people was their DEEP EMOTIONAL ANCHORAGE in their believes. This – and only this – anchor conveyed the power to move the people. This deep emotional connection to their own values made them become the charismatic leaders of their times who changed the face of the world in which they lived – to a larger or smaller extent, sometimes this world was not any more what it was before.

There has been written a lot on Charisma – and I have started my career as a trainer with the “Charisma-Concept” in 1996 – but what is really important to know are three things:

  1. Charisma as such is an absolutely “neutral” power – it is the individual who makes it become positive or negative
  2. “living” Charisma (in difference to “communicative” = “instant” Charisma) is anchored in values and believes which are fundamental to a person
  3. This deep anchorage in oneself provides the “power of presence” which makes the person become irresistible like a magnet – all “objects” of weaker strength are drawn towards it


It is therefore an exclusive matter of the original believes whether a charismatic leader will introduce change for the better or the worse. But one thing is certain: they will ALWAYS change their world.

And in the last point lies the trouble: people of strong convictions can draw others towards them, not by the logic of their arguments but just by their power of presence. And the bigger the crowd of followers becomes, the less value have rational arguments. The crowd energizes itself by mental, rhythmical and physical synchronisation and sometimes even the leader loses Control.


This post is also available in: German