There appears to be a particular trend in research on charismatic leadership. Most of it subsumes vision within charisma. Some scholars even suggest that it is the vision that leads to the attribution of charisma to the leaders in the first place. However, we think that charisma and vision are two distinct concepts and as such a leader may be charismatic but not visionary, or visionary but not charismatic, both charismatic and visionary, or neither. To us, charisma is an emotion-based construct or a ‘heart’ thing and charismatic leaders understand their social environment very well and are masters of social skills. Vision, on the other hand, is a competence-based construct, a combination of …show more content…
The charismatic leader often articulates this vision using metaphors and stories in ways that everyone can understand the vision. The followers see the leader as one that possesses the ability to visualize the future with clarity. The followers are also able to see how they fit into this future state, and believe it will be better than today.
Since followers can see themselves in this future vision, they support the goals of the organization and the leaders more readily. Rather than resorting to coercion, the charismatic leader builds trust among followers.
Visionaries who are successful at manifesting their visions base their leadership on an inspirational, positive picture of the future, as well as a clear sense of direction as to how to get there. Vision is a field that brings energy into form. Effective leaders broadcast a coherent message by themselves embodying their vision, as author Margaret Wheatley notes. They keep communicating the vision to create a strong field which then brings their vision into physical reality. Nelson Mandela clearly held a positive vision of a racially harmonious South Africa during his 28 years in jail and helped bring it into reality peacefully-- to the amazement of the world.
The best visionary leaders move energy to a higher level by offering a clear vision of