How to lead like Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy

There is always a lot of talk about the charismatic qualities of history’s greatest leaders. It is a celebrated trait that stretches from Caesar and Alexander the Great to Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy. It is no coincidence that something as powerful and timeless as charisma should remain one of the most important parts of modern leadership. Business leadership in the past does not have as many powerful names as compared to political leaders, military professionals, actors, and kings, but the effect that a business leader can have on his workforce and the consumers is quite similar to the influence that a general has on his troops. This is particularly true in the modern age, when business leaders are often those who we trust to enact cultural change in an era so consumed with technology and globalization. We trust our leaders to fully believe the words they share with us, and their promises are remembered longer than the empty advertising slogans and PR-directed speeches of the past.

It is not a secret that the world is wracked by problems, and that the modern world poses plenty of challenges for everyone, therefore we still seek leaders who can shine some light and understanding on the dynamic path of society. More than ever, we turn to business leaders to motivate us and make us hopeful for the future, particularly due to the increased cynicism towards political promises and bureaucratic stagnation in many nations. One area of life that people can participate in and see consistent, positive change is business, at least in those companies with a cool, charismatic leader at the helm. They speak confidently about the things they believe in, and are not afraid to defend their concepts and overall vision. They push back the boundaries of doubt and impossibility, and most importantly, they inspire with their words, but also create change with their actions. False claims and disingenuous speeches are quickly revealed for their true nature in a culture of instant gratification, while the rise of the social media generation means that truth and reliability are more important than pipe dreams and empty promises.

A business leader that wants to stride confidently into an elite echelon of the business world must not only have the ability to communicate his vision in a compelling and passionate way, but he must legitimately believe in the overall goals, and be willing to suffer the consequences of criticism and doubt from others. Self-confidence and belief in your company will help you lead your company from within, and your workers will not see a suit and tie lounging in a corner office as many may have seen in the hierarchical structure of old business models; they will see a driven and charismatic innovator who believes in something wholeheartedly, and is willing to work as hard as necessary to see it achieved.

This overwhelmingly powerful quality of charisma and sincere belief is a vital part of the new model of business leadership, and the coolest leaders of today and tomorrow are finding their true passions first, and then chasing them down with the aid of their charismatic personality.

Can Akdeniz

Can Akdeniz is the author of seven books and founder of Business Hacker, a popular business blog. His books such as Go Nuts, Cool Boss, Happy Company and MBA 2.0 have changed how people think about business, productivity and work.

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