By Jim Wong, CPA | August 9, 2017

When thinking about what makes a great leader in the corporate workplace, whether that be great accounting, finance and information technology managers and leaders, or leaders in any profession, you can’t help but notice the positive traits that they possess. Typically, many leaders have similar characteristics within their personality that cause their colleagues and team members to want to listen and follow their lead.

These characteristics are part of what builds a leader’s charisma. Most of us can name a few leaders who we’ve encountered in our careers that have left an impact on us—maybe from the way they made you feel when you were in their presence to their ability to command a room just by walking into it.

Great leaders have what they call the “it” factor. Yes, that’s something that comes innately, but it can also be learned.

By understanding the characteristics that successful leaders have in common, you can work to develop your own charisma and become a better leader in your company. I recently came across a good article on that talks about this topic. I decided to share some of the pointers they discuss as well as add a few of my own. Take a look at the 5 Characteristics of a Charismatic Leader below.

1. Confidence
Many of the most powerful and successful leaders exude confidence. They rarely show self-doubt and are usually in control of their emotions. To be a strong leader, you will have to practice self-confidence. You can’t second guess yourself or feel shy around your colleagues. Be sure when leading a project, to be positive and see the glass as half full. This will help your confidence come across to your team and can lead to a positive outcome.

2. Creativity
Charismatic leaders often think outside the box and aren’t afraid to take risks. This means that they tend to come up with creative solutions. When a problem arises, strong leaders rise to the challenge—instead of falling to it. When they come up with creative solutions often times this can lead to positive change that will ultimately transform the business in a good way.

3. Vision
Leaders with great charisma are constantly looking towards the future and ways to improve it. They follow their goals and know exactly what they are striving to achieve. Show that you have a vision by expressing it to others on your team. If they know you’re looking to improve the future in some capacity, they will take note.

4. Determination
In order to achieve their vision, leaders have to be determined to hit those goals. Even when they run into challenges, they have to push through. Show your determination as a leader by not giving up when you encounter road blocks and use the other characteristics like creativity and confidence to support your determination. This will surely inspire others.

5. Communication
Great leaders are strong communicators. Specifically, they know to be deliberate and thoughtful in their communication. Strong communicators do not speak in jargon and terms that people may or may not understand. Rather, great communicators speak in plain language that is understood by all. In addition, some of the best leaders I have observed know how to use “stories” to get their message or point across to others. Lastly, being direct and kind is one of the key elements I have seen lead to successful communication.

What are some other characteristics of a charismatic leader? Comment below and let us know!

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