Charismatic Leadership: A Brief Case Study of the 21st Olu of Warri Kingdom

The crowning of a monarch is not what usually catches our attention in the workplace. On the 21st of August 2021, in Delta State, Nigeria, thousands tuned in from around the world to watch the coronation of the 21st Olu of Warri, Prince Tsola Emiko.

Before the coronation, there was a tussle as to who should be crowned. Some of us wondered why was the Olu designate getting so much love, support, and attention. Had he achieved some extraordinary feat over the years that was only now coming to light? In trying to solve the puzzle, we realised that the answer wasn’t so far from us.

Across all media,  supporters lauded his appearance, mannerism, and eloquence, these traits made a good impression and won the hearts of many.  No other qualities seem to matter for their full support.

A BBC pidgin interview with the then Olu of Warri designate is a perfect reference to the king’s charisma. Many who banked on his charisma were soon vindicated when the king gave his coronation speech.

Charismatic individuals use their personality and communication style to gain the admiration of followers. They can communicate effectively, possess emotional sensitivity, put a considerable emphasis on social ties, and maintain emotional control in numerous situations that may cause stress or troubling emotions.

Below is a list of qualities charismatic leaders often deploy:

  1. Presence
  2. Creating meaningful connections
  3. Emotional control
  4. Master communicators
  5. Self-Awareness
  6. Creativity and Innovation
  7. Tenacity and Determination
  8. Humility

While there are many pros attached to charismatic leadership, it also has a few disadvantages. Below are mistakes to avoid:

  1. Wrong Focus
  2. The creation of “yes men”
  3. People over-relying on the leader

In today’s business world, first impressions can impact business decisions. Appearance and eloquence are big factors defining the impressions businesses make. As businesses and their leadership position themselves in the right light to impress and win the hearts of many, it is the ability to deliver results that would leave the most memorable impressions. We must focus on building an agile workforce and business processes that are proactively responding to changing times and tough business environments, to deliver results, as we seek to utilise charismatic virtues to gain the attention we need.

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