Contemporary Leadership: Critically Evaluating The Charismatic Component Of Transformational Leadership Theory

Contemporary Leadership and Its Challenges

The essay highlights on the critical evaluation of contribution of the charismatic component of transformational leadership theory in the context of contemporary organizational challenges. This study mainly explores on the contemporary leadership challenges facing the present organizations. Contemporary leadership refers to the kind of leaders who utilizes their personal influence for motivating subordinates to achieve the target set by them (Rosenbach, Taylor and Youndt 2012). There are two main contemporary leadership theories that include- charismatic and transformational leadership. Leadership challenge is basically about how the leaders of the organizations mobilize others for making extraordinary or innovative things occur in the organization.

Transformational Leadership refers to the leadership style where the leader works with other associates to recognize required change, creating vision for guiding and executing change. This kind of leadership serves to increase morale, motivation and performance of job of followers by applying different methods, which includes- challenging followers for taking  higher ownership for their work, understanding weaknesses as well as strengths of followers, inspiring the followers and raising their interest in work (Samad 2012). The leaders of entities adopting this leadership style have the ability to attain three things, which are-

  • Make the followers aware of significance of task results
  • Induce followers for transcending their personal interest for sake of organization
  • Move the followers towards high order requirements

Transformational leadership model consists of four constituents, which includes-

  • Idealized Influence-The leaders usually serves as role model for their followers and has been admired for their good ethical behavior. Idealized influence is also expressed through the willingness of transformational leaders to take risk, follow core values and convictions.
  • Individualized consideration-This signifies the extent to which leaders attends to the feelings and requirements of followers. The leader also provides empathy as well as support and keeps challenges before their followers (Hughes 2014). This attention to followers acts as vital element for bringing out their best effort. In addition, transformational leaders also give opportunities to the team members and help them grow in better way.
  • Inspirational Motivation- This indicate the extent to which leaders articulates vision, which is appealing as well as inspiring to their followers. The leaders also challenge the followers and communicate optimism with them for future target. This feature of transformational leadership needs good communication skills of the leaders since it requires them to communicate messages with much precision.
  • Intellectual Simulation-This signifies the extent to which leaders takes several risks and solicits the ideas of followers. Besides this, they also stimulate and motivate creativity in them. However, the vision that these leaders convey facilitates their followers succeeds in achieving the target.

The two elements of transformational leadership including idealized influence and inspirational motivation constitute the charisma of transformational leaders. Charisma generally means compelling attractiveness that helps to inspiring devotion in other individuals (Avolio, and Yammarino  2013). It fits in describing specific kind of leader who applies value- based and emotion in their leadership style. It is the procedure that interfaces between features of the charismatic leaders, the team members, their requirements and the situation that needs these leaders to change in the crisis period.

Charismatic leadership style basically relies on persuasiveness as well as charm of leaders. They have the capability to articulate inspirational as well as ideological vision, which in turn improves future than present (Oti 2018). Charismatic leaders are influenced by their commitment as well as convictions to their main cause. They encourage followers to improve the process by which few things are done. They are generally recognized during crisis period and thus exhibit their devotion to expertise in their own fields.

Charismatic leaders are also called as transformational leaders as they share many similarities. Transformational leadership style basically involves use of charisma and thus the transformational leaders are known for leading their teams effectively and efficiently (Oti 2018). Furthermore, they are also well known for their ability to recognize as well as foster the leadership capacity among their followers. Another similarity is that both these leadership style devises different ways of assisting the enterprises to change as well as innovate (Bruce  and Francis 2013). In fact, transformational leaders holds few features of the charismatic leaders such as communication skills, ability to coherent vision, assessment skills and ability to understand sensitivity to deficiency in skills of followers. They also have the similarity to install skills in their team members and be the religious leader among the followers. Although all the transformational leaders hold charisma, not every charismatic leader possess transformational in their style of leadership.

Transformational Leadership: An Overview

Some of the risk that are associated with charismatic leadership involves-

  • Excessive optimism  as well as confidence blinds the leaders to dangers
  • Denial of issues and failures decreases organizational learning
  • Huge dependence on these leaders general inhibits competent successors development
  • Failure in developing successor also creates ultimate leadership crisis (Steve Nguyen 2018).
  • It might result into wrong decisions if the leaders makes harsh decisions out of some emotions.
  • The leaders sometimes manipulate the followers and thus this increases the possibility of losing more amount that they gain.

LMX (Leader-member exchange) theory basically proposes the kind of relationship that the leaders have with members of enterprise. This theory helps us to understand the influence of leaders on their employees. Leaders usually have various kinds of relationships with their workers. In higher-quality LMX relationship, all the leaders forms mainly trust based relation with their member ( .2018).  In contrast to this, in lower quality LMX relationship, the team members as well as leaders have low trust level as well as respect. However, these relationship donot involve in disliking each other.

Although narcissistic leaders are basically perceived as arrogant and assertive, they are considered as competent for creating string image. The risk that are basically associated with narcissism/transformational leadership are given below-

  • Narcissists leaders sometimes hinder the performance of team. The more narcissists team leaders dominates the group, the team members becomes unwilling to participate in the work. This in turn weakens the performance of the team on these tasks.  
  • When the narcissist leaders are challenged to huge competition, they derogate as well as undermine other team members. Hence, this lowers work productivity in team.

The present contemporary challenges that the organizations are facing over the last few year given below:

  • Diversity in labor force- This is considered as one of the important contemporary challenges since it does not consider the perspectives of others (Van Wart 2012). However, the enterprise that lacks diverse workforce has been considered as outdated.
  • Outsourcing- This is defined as shifting jobs out of an enterprise to another for reducing cost and saving money. This creates challenge for the present organizations as it creates change management and cultural differences.
  • Innovation-Innovation can create challenge to the present enterprise such as – processing the ideas efficiently, establishing internal structure efficiently and other legal risks (Samad 2012).
  • Cultural differences- This creates challenge in the present organization since it leads to conflicting styles of working across teams. In fact, it also leads to misinterpretation of professional communication.
  • Recruitment and selection process- Several challenges that the present organizations faces while recruitment process involves-  selecting skilled candidate, planning the process of interview, increase in expenses involved in the selection process (Symon and Cassell 2017).

According to Kirimi  and Barine (2012), leadership is vital for initiating as well as carrying out certain changes in the organizational culture. Charismatic component of transformational leadership contributes in change in the existing organizations. In some of the challenging situations, the charisma element of transformational leaders creates better workplace environment for the followers. When creating specific organizational culture, the transformational leaders reduces anxiety in followers, enhances their self- confidence and motivates them to take risk. However, these leaders help to reduce the cultural differences within the workplace and create homogenous enterprise culture (Roueche,, Baker. and Rose 2014).. In addition, charismatic element of transformational leadership is mainly used for guiding the development of practical initiatives and support enterprise development. These leaders also help the enterprise to develop extraordinary or innovative things. Apart from this, they also help to model the method with creative insights as well as practices. Transformational leaders personify their values for mitigating the challenges of innovation. Furthermore, intellectual stimulation characterizing these leaders also motivates the followers in solving the problems.

As the challenges in the enterprise occurs in the administrative level, the transformational leaders inspire their team members in spending extra effort as well as endeavor to provide satisfying workplace (Van Wart 2013).  Moreover, these leaders also help to plan the outsourcing strategy that aids in reducing the cost.  This charismatic component of transformational leaders also helps to assess professional competencies accurately during the screening practices.  Besides this, they also assess the candidate’s psychological attributes, which in turn helps them to assign work accordingly. Kirimi and Barine (2012) opines that transformational leaders holding this component also uses corporate liberation for radically transforming their enterprises, so that they can combat with the challenges and sustain in the competitive business environment.


The conclusion that can be drawn from the above essay is that transformational leadership has huge significance in the performance of organizations. The charismatic component of the transformational leaders has positive contribution in the context of mitigating the organizational challenges. These leaders provide their followers with focus, commensurate support and appreciation that are designed to motivate the followers adopt their vision for achieving target. One common ground for transformational and charismatic leadership concept is the ability to influence their followers and bring about positive change in the organization. These two leadership approaches also positively influences the culture within the organizations and facilitates to achieve success in competitive market.


Avolio, B.J. and Yammarino, F.J. eds., 2013. Introduction to, and overview of, transformational and charismatic leadership. In Transformational and Charismatic Leadership: The Road Ahead 10th Anniversary Edition (pp. xxvii-xxxiii). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Bruce J. Avolio and Francis J. Yammarino 2013. Transformational and Charismatic Leadership. Bingley, U.K.: Emerald.

 Hughes, T.A., 2014. Idealized, inspirational, and intellectual leaders in the social sector: Transformational leadership and the Kravis prize.

Kirimi, D. and Barine, M. 2012. Transformational corporate leadership. Luton: Andrews UK. (2018). [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018]. (2018). 10.6 Contemporary Approaches to Leadership | Principles of Management. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].

Oti, F. (2018). Charismatic and Transformational Leadership: Characteristics, Similarities, and Differences. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].

Rosenbach, W.E., Taylor, R.L. and Youndt, M.A., 2012. Contemporary issues in leadership. Hachette UK.

Roueche, P.E., Baker III, G.A. and Rose, R.R., 2014. Shared vision: Transformational leadership in American community colleges. Rowman & Littlefield.

Samad, S., 2012. The influence of innovation and transformational leadership on organizational performance. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 57, pp.486-493.

Saxena, N. 2012. Paradigm Change of Leaders, from Transformational Leadership to Super Leadership. SSRN Electronic Journal.

Steve Nguyen, P. (2018). The Dangers of Charismatic Leaders. [online] Workplace Psychology. Available at: [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].

Van Wart, M., 2013. Lessons from leadership theory and the contemporary challenges of leaders. Public Administration Review, 73(4), pp.553-565.

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